For those of you who aren’t familiar with the town of Burlington, MA, (population: 22,800/location: 12miles NW of Boston) cheerleading is in their blood. Burlington is a town where cheerleading trumps football, camaraderie among neighbors is in the town’s bylaws and national trophies are a rite of passage. So it was no surprise when more than 200 devoted family members and friends of The Burlington Patriot’s Pop Warner Cheerleaders packed the house at a Special Private Screening of “Blood, Sweat and Cheers” at the Burlington AMC Theater.
After spending nearly two years as a surrogate “Burlingtonian,” there was no doubt in my mind the town would rally together once again in support of the Burlington Pop Warner Cheerleaders, but for a theater to be standing room only, early on a Saturday morning–when cheerleading, football, and other fall sports are on the already jam packed schedule of Burlington families– was unbelievably gratifying to a filmmaker.
Perhaps the most touching moment was when Dave Colangelo, President of Burlington Pop Warner looked over to see the entire Junior Midget team of 2007 (the stars of Blood, Sweat and Cheers) holding hands as they announced the winners at the Pop Warner National Competition up on the screen. While the team obviously knew the outcome of the competition, they relived that moment with same unity that carried them through their competing season. The bonds these girls developed over years of cheering together are clearly unbreakable.
There is something unique and special about a small-town and the great lengths they go to to support their neighbors and community. It was an incredible experience to be let into the homes and lives of this tight-knit community and a true pleasure to share their struggles, triumphs and passion for cheerleading on the big screen. I thank the town of Burlington for entrusting their story with us!