When the Francis Scott Key Junior Eagle cheerleaders heard they had been invited to perform in the Hula Bowl halftime show in Honolulu, Jessica Broderick said:
"I was pretty much the happiest person on earth. I never thought I'd go to Hawaii at 13. I thought it would be on my honeymoon."
The girls' performance during the halftime show at the college football game will be televised nationally on ESPN at 9 p.m. Jan. 22.
The nine-member team is hard at work trying to come up with the cash to pay its way to Hawaii.
The cost of the trip for each girl is $1,807. That includes five nights at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, meals, tickets to the Hula Bowl banquet dinner, a commemorative Hula Bowl video and the cheerleading outfit for the halftime show.
"Basically, the girls are going around and begging" to raise money, said Pam Banks, head coach of the Key High School cheerleaders.
The cheerleaders have raised about $1,000 from bake sales, baby-sitting, donations from friends and relatives, and doing yard work.
The girls are also asking local businesses to help.
Wal-Mart has agreed to let the cheerleaders work at its Westminster store on the day after Thanksgiving to raise money for the trip, said Lily McCartney, a cheerleading coach for the team. The girls will work for tips, helping customers carry packages to their cars.
"Instead of just giving them a flat-out donation, they're going to try to let them earn it," Ms. McCartney said of the store's offer.
Other fund-raisers include a cash raffle Dec. 2. The cheerleaders hope to sell 2,500 tickets for $1 each. The winner will receive $1,250; the remaining receipts will go to the cheerleading squad.
The cheerleaders are also planning to hold two "sock hops" for children, Ms. McCartney said.
"The money is coming in slowly, but it's coming in," Ms. Banks said.
The team was asked to be in the Hula Bowl halftime show as a result of their participation in a summer cheerleading camp at Western Maryland College.
The National Cheerleading Association, which ran the camp, asked participants to perform in the Hula Bowl, Ms. McCartney
Association instructors will teach the girls their halftime routine once they get to Hawaii.
The show will also feature Hawaiian entertainers and cheerleaders.
"It's the chance of a lifetime for these girls to participate in a show like this," said Ms. McCartney.