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Cheerleading business seeks new building

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
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Posted 7/5/22

North Star All Star Cheerleading is in need of a new home, and Founder/Director Lorrie Wallis is doing what she can to keep her business “centrally located” in Rome.

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Cheerleading business seeks new building

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ROME — North Star All Star Cheerleading is in need of a new home, and Founder/Director Lorrie Wallis is doing what she can to keep her business “centrally located” in Rome.

Recently Wallis reached out to the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, expressing her difficulty in finding a new location for North Star All Star Cheerleading now that they must move out of their current facility at 218 S. James St., because the building has been sold.

So Wallis and North Star All Stars is reaching out to the community to see if anyone owns, or at least knows of a building in the Rome area where they can re-locate. She said they could even scale down to a 4,800 square-foot building if need be.

“We’ve been around since 2007 and been a member of the Rome Chamber ever since, and this is the first time we’ve reached out for some assistance,” Wallis said.

Because of their high-flying jumps and maneuvers, cheerleaders need a building with not only enough square footage, but with a high ceiling, Wallis explained. The current location is 6,000 square feet.

At this time, this is what North Star All Star Cheerleading needs:

• One room/area minimum of 16-feet ceilings; 44-by-50 foot area (competition floor size).

• One room/area minimum of 10-12 foot ceilings; 30-by-50 foot area for training/gymnastics.

“The floors don’t have to be great as we have a spring floor, and we’ll cover that with mats from wall-to-wall,” Wallis said. “A pole barn or garage would be perfect, but we don’t have land to build.”

North Star All Star Cheerleading is a non-profit organization, with coaches and facilitators of the programming working full-time jobs, Wallis, a local
realtor, explained. Being a non-profit, Wallis said she’s on a budget as far as how steep of a price she can pay for rent, and some local owners of buildings that would meet their size and height requirements, simply don’t wish to subdivide their property that would help make rent more affordable.

She said a church would work as it would have enough open space with high ceilings, or perhaps a school gymnasium.

“We all work full-time jobs and this is something we do on the side, so for us to make up the difference (cost-wise) that’s something we don’t have the time or the money for,” she said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, North Star All Stars lost about 20 members who were high-school aged, but now younger children have started to enroll, with more expected in the fall to help kick-start programming again, Wallis said.

“We have kids and parents that come from three counties that make up 5-7 teams annually, for a total of 55-75 kids,” said Wallis, adding that she’s not sure North Star All Stars could afford to buy or lease a facility. “I am willing to look at anything and we are willing to put some work into it to make it ‘our gym.’”

Cheerleaders are divided into and instructed in three different groups: North Star Seniors, North Star Juniors and North Star Tiny/Mini Novas. Earlier this year North Star All Stars had one of its teams — Power — selected to compete at one of the nation’s most prestigious cheerleading competitions, The Summit Division II Championship, produced by Varsity All Star.

The Summit Division II Championship, held at Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, previously held May 6-8, is the season-capping goal for many competitive all star teams.

As for the new facility, Wallis said they have considered locations in the New Hartford area, but the program prefers to stay in Rome if possible.

“Rome has been our home from the beginning, and it’s where we want to stay,” the coach said. “Rome is actually centrally located for all our members. We’re also a community-minded organization, and because we’re asking the community for help in finding a new location, we’d be more than happy to volunteer and give back.”

Anyone who has or knows of a building where North Star All Star Cheerleading can relocate, contact Lorrie Wallis at 314-245-2686, 315-334-2139, or email her at lwallis2@verizon.net.

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