Little Miss Indian Contest a Big Hit in Fun Department, but Serves as BHS Cheerleaders' Biggest Fundraiser

By Jeff Toquinto on September 22, 2023 via

The annual Bridgeport Little Miss Indian Contest concluded prior to the start of the Sept. 16 contest against Fairmont Senior. And while the event allows little girls to have a lot of fun, it also serves as a significant fundraiser for the BHS cheerleading program.
“This is an extremely important fundraiser for our cheer program,” said Coach Natalie Hathaway.
In particular, new cheer mats have been the focus of a large portion of funding raised by the BHS student-athletes and cheer staff. Hathaway said it allows for a much safer environment to cheer in among other things.
“West Virginia school cheerleading started competing on mats for the first time in 2021. This is very exciting for the safety of our athletes, but of course adds another monetary responsibility for the team, so we greatly appreciate the generosity of our community in helping our athletes stay safe,” said Hathaway.
There are other items funds raised are used for during the course of any single year. Hathaway said those costs may include uniforms, music fees, routine choreography, hotel stays, meals for the athletes when traveling, and others.
In the end, however, she said the event allows the cheerleaders and their Little Miss Indian contestants to have fun.
“The girls have a ton of fun with their contestants. They have photoshoots together and work towards raising money through raffles, selling items, etc.,” said Hathaway. “The contestants get dressed up to walk across the field prior to the kickoff of the football game, and later this year they will get to ride with us in the homecoming parade. My niece was a contestant a few years ago and still talks about it.”
Hathaway said there was a unique twist to this year’s event. Cheerleader Ansley Leach was a participant and winner in 2017 and the young lady she sponsored, Audrey Bowmar, was a winner.
“Overall, we are just so grateful for the continuous support from the community in this fundraiser,” said Hathaway. “We look forward to it every year and we could not have such a great program without it.”
The winners each year of the contest are determined by the amount of money raised.

Editor’s Note: Cheerleaders pictured in the photo are, from left, Ansley Leach, Bailey Root, Tayla Pitsenbarger, and Alea Matthis. The Little Miss Indian contestants/winner are, from left, Audrey Bowmar, Adalynn Burgess, Alexa Ryan, and Audriana Cox. Photo identifications provided by Natalie Hathaway. Photo by Joe LaRocca.

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