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Cheering for Jerry Harris

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Updated: January 2020: Cheering for Jerry Harris!

On behalf of Jerry, we would like to thank everyone for their love and interest in helping this very special young man. We are three mothers who have known Jerry for years and wanted to step in to help him after he lost his mother. When we first started this campaign, we raised money to help Jerry continue to cheer and cover these costs.

 We have been extremely frugal with the funds as per Jerry’s request, but Jerry still has two more years of college ahead of him. He is currently cheering at Navarro College and is also cheering for Cheer Athletics Wildcats All-Stars again. 

 Jerry is humbled and in awe that so many people have reached out to him and want to help him reach his goals of finishing college and continuing to cheer. We have reactivated this GoFundMe campaign to help Jerry reach his goals. Any money that is donated to this campaign will be used to help Jerry continue to cheer and finish his education.

Original "story" campaign information from March 2016:
'Cheer moms for Jerry' is a group of moms that know Jeremiah "Jerry" Harris from all-star cheer. Our goal is to provide financial and emotional support for Jerry after the death of his mom, Lizzie Bowman. Jerry is one of the most amazing and inspiring young men we have ever had the pleasure to meet. During a time in his life when so many other teenage boys are out running around with friends and finding trouble, Jerry honored his mother by working diligently in school, taking care of his mom, and cheering with his all-star gym.

On March 13, 2016, this sweet 16-year-old boy said, "I love you" to his mother for the very last time. Jerry's mom was not just his only parent, she was his sole provider of financial and emotional support. Jerry's mom instilled in him the valuable character traits of kindness, hard-work, respect, responsibility, and gratitude. This is why Jerry is always willing to help someone in need, even if to just give one of his well-known and coveted 'Jerry hugs'.  He is always there for anyone in need of a friend or encouragement.

 In addition to suffering from cancer, Jerry's mom also struggled to make ends meet. Although each month was a financial challenge, she somehow found a way to keep Jerry in all-star cheer and keep him focused in school.  Jerry's mom realized how important cheer is for Jerry, not only to keep him physically healthy but mentally healthy also.  In fact, it was so important to her that she wrote a letter to Jerry just before she died telling him not to mourn and to find a way to continue to cheer. For Jerry cheer has always been more than a sport, it is a place he can always go to forget about the challenges of fitting in at school and to find unconditional acceptance and love from teammates, coaches, and friends.  Through cheer, Jerry was able to find support for both himself and also for his mom.  The cheer gym became his second home and the cheer community his second family. Now that Lizzie has been called to her eternal, heavenly home, Jerry will have to find a new home and build a new life without his rock, but not without hope and not alone.

Please help us show Jerry that even though his mother may not be here with him, her love for him continues through those who continue to love him and are inspired by him.  We would like to raise money to help Jerry face the challenges ahead that he will now have to face without his mom.  The money raised will go toward his everyday needs, keeping him in school, and hopefully to help him get started in college. 

Even a small amount helps, not only financially, but also by showing Jerry that he is loved and that he is not facing this journey alone.

*Note: Since Jerry is under 18 years of age, I, Jennifer (Jo) Towne will need to withdraw the funds in my name and will then directly distribute the funds to Jerry.

Organizer and beneficiary

Jo Towne
Aurora, IL
Jennifer Houchens

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