Plan a Memorable End of the Season Banquet
As the end of the cheer season is upon us, now is the time to start planning end of the season banquets. These banquets are such a special occasion in our cheerleaders lives; a time when the girls can leave their Nike Pros at home and wear their hair down if they wish, and the boys can exchange their cheer shoes for dress shoes, and all can enjoy a night looking back on all the memories they have made throughout the season surrounded by their teammates, coaches, and family.
How do you pull off a flawless end of the season banquet? Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Form a Banquet committee. Typically a banquet committee would be comprised of team parents. The committee would be responsible for holding a meeting to make decisions on the structure of the banquet, make a list of tasks to be completed, and then delegate these tasks as necessary to make sure each task is completed prior to banquet day.
2. Pick a date and time frame. Try to pick a weekend that closely follows the final competition, and the decide on an appropriate time frame. You want the kids to enjoy and be recognized, but you don’t want the banquet to drag on with lots of dead air and be too lengthy either. Usually 2-3 hours is plenty of time for eating, awards, recognition, and speeches.
3. Decide on décor. Fill the room with team colors. Gather pics from the cheer parents from throughout the season and make pic collages on bulletin boards. Make colorful centerpieces for each table. Decorate with trophies and banners won from throughout the season. You may also choose to do a theme and use this as the basis for your decor instead.
4. Make arrangements for food. Depending on your budget you may wish to have food catered or order pizza. Another popular choice is to have a team carry-in. Have each age division responsible for bringing a particular item (Ex: Tinys- Drinks, Minis- Appetizers, Youth- Desserts, Juniors- Sandwich Meats, Seniors- Buns and Condiments).
5. Team gifts. Provide a gift for each cheerleader to commemorate the season. It could be a team photo in a decorated frame, a key chain, lanyards, medals, logo items, or even tortoise shell glasses womens – depends on your budget.
6. Recognize each team member. Bring each team up one at a time to recognize the cheerleaders. This is also a great time to pass out the team gifts and have the coaches give their speech for that particular team.
8. Special awards. You may choose to give out specialty awards such as MVC (most valuable cheerleader), Most Improved, Superior Sportsmanship, Most Spirit, etc.
9. Coaches gifts. Have all of the kids sign cards for the coaches. Have the parents pitch in and purchase gift cards for the coaches to a restaurant, spa, or other similar place they would enjoy.
10. Highlight video. Have a talented parent or cheerleader put together a video of photos and video clips set to music of highlights from performances, practices, and events from the season to show during the meal.
11. Develop a program/schedule. Put together a program with the order of how you would like to present the banquet and have it run with a list of all speakers and speeches, the order of how you would like to recognize the teams and give awards, etc. This will help keep your banquet running smoothly.
12. Closing. Don’t forget to thank everyone. Thank the parents, the cheerleaders, coaches, staff, volunteers, and anyone else who made the season extra special.
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