DOWNEY – The Downey Mustangs cheerleading squad will host a fundraiser this Sunday at L.A. Buns, with the burger restaurant donating a portion of all sales between 12-4 p.m. to the cheerleaders. The cheer squad, which includes 13 girls between the ages of 5-14, recently qualified for regionals, which will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center.
The Downey Mustangs are a nonprofit youth football organization started in 2010. They are part of the national Pop Warner program and offer tackle football as young as 5 years old.
“They’re pretty much running around like bobblesheads at that age,” laughed Laurie Vasquez, who co-founded the league with four others. “It’s really cute.”
The Mustangs compete in the West Con Division against 29 other cities in the region, which spans Southern California.
Cheerleaders perform during the regular season, August through October, but cheer members hope to raise money so they can compete in tournaments year-round.
Cheer registration is $130 but doesn’t include the cost of uniforms and accessories.
“We really like to prepare kids for high school, so if they want to cheer at Downey or Warren they’ll be ready,” said Vasquez. Ninety-eight percent of the Mustangs’ rosters are Downey residents, she said.
Mike Gavica, owner of L.A. Buns, said he only hosts four fundraisers per year but wanted to support the Mustangs.
It also helps that his niece is a Mustang cheerleader.
“The Mustangs are overshadowed a lot of times and don’t get the recognition they deserve,” said Gavica, who is donating 20 percent of sales to the cheer squad. “But they’re doing a lot of good in the community. I want to help them as much as I can.”
L.A. Buns is at 8237 2nd St. in Downtown Downey.
Published: Oct. 30, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 29