By Anna Skinner
An Indiana State Police trooper based in Huntington was recently awarded a $500 grant to aid in his daughter’s Westfield cheerleading involvement.
Jason Ward received the grant from the Indiana State Police Alliance Cops for Kids program, which assists youth by funding programs around the state. The alliance’s goal is to build relationships between troopers and the state’s youth.
Ward and his daughter, Alexyea, travel more than 100 miles to her practice at Ice All-Star Cheerleading in Westfield. Most weekends, the Wards are out of state at cheer competitions. They will soon travel to Dallas, Chicago, Orlando and other cities. The Wards recently returned from a competition in New York.
“The grant really helps with all the expenses that go into the sport,” Ward said. “Anything you can do to go out and find a booster or sponsor, it helps. The biggest advantage to getting the grant is I get to spend more time at home not worrying about how I’m going to offset this cost or that. Without the grant, I would have to put in almost an extra week of overtime.”
ISPA’s Cops for Kids program was established in 1991. The alliance was established in 1974.
“We realized back then that a very important part of law enforcement was building relationships with the current youth of today, so we have been doing that since 1991 through this program, which is supported entirely by donations from the public,” ISPA Executive Director Wayne Flick said.
Ice All-Star Cheerleading was one of 16 entities that received a grant. The next round of grants will be given in March, and applications will be accepted in February. For more, visit indianasfinest.com/charities/cops-for-kids/.