JAMESTOWN, NY (WKBW) — Five years ago, Samantha Robinson and Lisa Perrin started a cheer studio in Jamestown named Xplosion All-Stars. They had just seven kids on their initial roster.
"We went to our first competition and won first place," Perrin said. "After that, we had like a flood of people that wanted to be part of our gym."
Now, there are nearly 100 athletes who are part of a program that means so much to the small community.
But COVID-19 threatened to take away some of that cheer.
"We weren't sure we were gonna be able to continue," Perrin said.
"It was rough," Robinson added. "And then when we started registration, some people pulled back because it's a nerve-wracking situation to get into."
That was until a national gym makeover competition, put on by the Open Championship Series, gave them that much needed spark.
It provided teams the chance to take away some of those financial responsibilities and get free music, uniforms, shoes, choreography, and an invite to the Open Championship Series competition in Florida.
"I just thought about them and what they would truly appreciate getting out of it," Robinson said about submitting their first video. "It's like the whole package of a cheer season."
That dream is one step away from becoming a reality after Xplosion was named a top three finalist last week.
Winning this makeover would mean everything, but they've learned something even more special along the way.
"We have people commenting on our videos and they're telling us why their children are so excited to be a part of Xplosion," Perrin said. "That to us, has been a huge thing out of this whole experience."
You can access the Open Championship Series Facebook page here and scroll down to find the Xplosion All-Star video. To go directly to the post and comment, like, or share, click here. The winner will be announced August 1st.