Cancer cure the goal of cheerleading event - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Cancer cure the goal of cheerleading event

GENOA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Stella Bertz was a cheerleading coach at Genoa High School.

In 2003, she died of lung cancer.

Her life is the inspiration for 'Cheer for a Cure", the official charity of cheerleaders.

And that's what they did Saturday at the high school, cheer for a cure.

Sixty five teams competed for trophies but at the same time raised money for cancer research, all in the name of Stella.

"She was an amazing woman. She was an avid believer in all things positive," said Stella's daughter Valerie Widmer.

Among the competitors was a cheerleader who lost her dad to bone cancer.

John Hoste's name is on daughter Maddy's uniform.

"He was a big inspiration for me. I'm consistently doing better because of him. And I'd want to impress him if he was here," said Maddy.

Maddy's coach is an ovarian cancer survivor.

"We did a 'Flip for a Cure' at the gym. So we asked the girls to see how many flips they could do in a half hour and we took donations for it," said Jody Kolbe.

Nationally this year, there will be 15 'Cheer for a Cure' events.

In the last 10 years, $100,000 has been raised to prevent cancer and save lives.

"Cheerleaders get a stereotype of being snarky. But it's great we all come together and raise money for such an awesome thing," said Ms. Widmer.

Money from every cheer and flip goes to the James Cancer Research Institute at The Ohio State University.

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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