PALM RIVER, Fla. (WFLA) — The B-Elite Allstar cheer program has been invited to perform at the Daytona 500 after an 8 On your Side For the Culture report.
8 On Your side introduced the community to B-Elite in August. It’s an affordable cheer program based in the Palm River area of Tampa. It’s a Black-owned program that was created to give young girls, especially minorities, an affordable way to become competitive cheerleaders.
“I always told myself that whenever I start my all star program I would make sure it’s affordable for girls in my community, girls that look like me, low income families, that we have a place to go,” said Coach Brandi Perdue, owner of B-Elite.
Well now the program is taking its athletes to the biggest stage in NASCAR.
“First I received the email, I thought it was was some type of spam. I did not think it was real,” Perdue said.
That email came from a representative with NASCAR. The email expressed how NASCAR wanted B-elite to perform at the Daytona 500 in February.
“I was shocked. Like really? Us? This little team from Tampa Florida?” she said.
The news comes after NASCAR said they saw On Your Sides’ For the Culture story in August.
“We are so blessed and we thank you for the opportunity,” Perdue said. “Just with that interview alone, our phones are blowing up.”
Four of the program’s elite teams will perform at the race. B-Elite will be the first minority cheer program to perform at the Daytona 500. It’s a huge opportunity, but the team needs help from the community. They have to come up with $5,000 in order to send the team. There is a Facebook fundraiser going on, click here to support.
Many of the families in the program are low-income families that are grateful for this opportunity.
“It is something that these girls would probably never have the opportunity to experience,” Perdue said. “Probably would never have the opportunity to attend an event of this sort”
It’s something 9-year-old Maiya Bailey isn’t taking for granted.
“If it wasn’t for B-Elite I wouldn’t be going to the Daytona 500, so I’m really excited and blessed to go,” Bailey said.
Practices are already underway. The team has to come up with the money by Dec. 15.