Local team cheered by special needs that make great strides

A team of cheerleaders with special needs in Lancaster County is changing the way people with differences are accepted

YORK COUNTY, Pennsylvania – On Saturday, the “World Cup Jupiter Cheer Team” participated in its first regional competition in York County.

Team organizer and coach, Dave Haldman, says his mission is to include everyone and send an acceptance message.

“It gives these children two minutes and a few weird seconds on the carpet where they can feel normal,” said Haldman.

The parents of those on the team say that Haldman’s program is changing the lives of their children.

“It’s really moving to see people who don’t know my son support him and cheer him on,” said Shannon Antes.

Antes says the program made a difference to his nine-year-old son.

“We have done many other sports and in the end he found something he is good at and can be himself because all the other children are just like him,” said Antes.

“It’s so fun to dance with your friends and compete with your friends,” said Antes’ son Alex, who is on the team.

“Seeing them go out and being able to do all of this is what makes me happy, that’s all,” said Haldeman. “I just can’t put it into words, they are the best,” he added.

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