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JBLM spouse to coach national cheer team

Two military students will attend the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi

Brandon Newlander ??" Cheerleader. Photo provided by Stacie Pogoncheff, Head Coach

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Two military students and a spouse from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be part of the USA National Cheer Team at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi March 14-22, 2019. JBLM's Stacie Pogoncheff is the head coach. She took over from her daughter Kelbie Pogoncheff, who founded the team, when she left for college. The assistant coach Megan Dirk, a military child and Lakes High School junior, will also travel with the group.

Brittni Wainscott and Brandon Newlander will also both be part of Team USA. There is a total of 10 U.S. cheerleaders who will travel to Abu Dhabi. They will be forming a team which will be competing against Team Russia, Japan, and the UAE.

"To travel to the World Games this year is unprecedented," said Stacie Pogoncheff. "This is the first time competitive cheer is being introduced to Special Olympics globally. It is an opportunity of a lifetime."

Unfortunately, at this time, all the students that wish to go won't be able to due to the $2,500 cost per participant. The majority of which is airfare. The team must submit its roster by Dec. 31. Efforts to fundraise has produced $4,000 so far. The families of Brittni and Brandon will be able to pay if fundraising falls short. But there are others with need.

For more information to donate or help the team fundraise, please call Stacie Pogoncheff at 517.862.9561.

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