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Surprise Gives Tornado Victims Reason to Cheer

MACKINAW - Cheerleaders who lost their homes in November's storms get a special surprise from a competing team.

MACKINAW - At The Cheer Spot in Mackinaw these girls know how to put on a good show. They always spark a smile and leave it all on the mat. But that's been tough the last few weeks.

"People have been sending me stuff. It's been kinda’ hard," said Brooke Blumenshine  

Eleven of the girls lost everything after a tornado swept through nearby Washington.

"We were at a competition when we heard about this. So a lot of our families were in Indiana when they found out their homes were gone," said Coach Debbie Wilson.  

"They couldn't get a hold of my mom at first and then we finally did. It was after I performed, and someone knew my house was down. So when my mom called I could barely understand. I could only understand our house was gone," said Blumenshine.  
Since the storm, cheering has not been easy. But at practice Thursday,  a surprise from another team in Connecticut could help.

"Obviously, they heard about it and they sent the girls a special package," said Wilson.  

Each gift comes with a letter for the girls. The teams think they are here for practice, but the coaches wanted to share the gifts.

The packages contained shorts, shirts, nail polish and everything a cheerleader needs.

"We couldn't imagine having our homes taken away from us while we were competing in this sport we love," read one letter.  

16-year-old Paige Holthe's home is gone. But acts of kindness, like this, help her get by.

"It's amazing. Just to see how many people like have heard about this. How many people want to help. And just a gym like us wanting to help is amazing." 

“You don't think anybody really cares until they send you stuff all the way from Connecticut,” said  Blumenshine.

Most of the girls were competing out of state when the tornadoes hit. Even after the tornadoes, two out of the club's five teams won first place in the competition.
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