Local cheer team chose spending time at nursing home over having a Christmas party

DENHAM SPRINGS — The holidays are the season for giving, and one local recreational cheer team learned that lesson at an early age thanks to a nursing home.

The Cajun Rec Cheerleading-Magnolia opted out of its Christmas party to spend time with senior citizens at Harvest Manor Nursing Home in Denham Springs while singing carols and handing out gifts. The cheer team had the option of a party or go spend time at a nursing home and they chose to forego the party so they could go spend time with the senior citizens.

Haleigh Gautreaux started the cheer program two years ago. The team consists of girls ages seven to 11 years old.

“It’s indescribable. Our girls’ hearts are so big,” said Christen Piper, whose daughter is on the team. “It’s so exciting to give back and see that love and joy in your child. It is indescribable.”

Piper said her daughter has been with the team for two years. She said the team genuinely enjoys giving back to the community.

‌Gautreaux’s program is a rec cheer program that has teams with kids from ages 2-18. The girls have a two-and-a-half-minute routine of tumbling, jumping, dancing, etc.

cheer team nursing home

“The whole goal is to build them through the next level,” Gautreaux said. “I want to ensure they are prepared to make any cheer team. The little ones they have elected to give back. That’s what the true meaning of Christmas is. I, the assistant coach, and the parents want these girls to have the opportunity to serve others and help those in need with a smile and hug. Giving back is the true meaning of Christmas. That’s what will stay with them for years to come.”

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