Credit: Jennifer Boxley
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Atlanta Hawks made a young cheerleader’s dream come true with an opportunity to become an Atlanta Hawks cheerleader for a day Friday evening.
Seven-year-old Leslie Barnett of Jasper, Georgia, who suffers from Cystic Hygroma, started the evening
with a warm welcome from members of the Atlanta Hawks cheerleading team upon her arrival to Philips Arena. She entered through the player’s official entrance and was later escorted into her private suite filled with her friends and family.
Leslie’s VIP evening included participation in all pre-game activities with the cheerleaders, including hair and make-up in the official cheerleader locker room as well as a cheer practice to review choreography with teammates in preparation for the big game. The team gifted their honorary member a cheerleading uniform, polaroid camera and lots of fun Atlanta Hawks gear including t-shirts, hats and more. As Leslie participated in team introductions, she also helped cheer the Atlanta Hawks to a win, with a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks 101-90.
Leslie was chosen to be one of 13 children who took part in this year’s annual trip to Walt Disney World as a part of Bert’s Big Adventure. Bert’s Big Adventure is a nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. She was surprised with this unique opportunity during the organization’s Big Send Off party hosted by The Bert Show which included a live broadcast of the nationally syndicated morning radio show, Disney characters and surprises for the children, with the ultimate goal of creating magical moments for these deserving families.