By Jared Janzen
HALSTEAD—Getting paid to prank people sounds like a teenager’s dream come true, but that’s the idea behind the Halstead cheer team’s new fundraiser.
Beginning last week and running through May 31, you can pay the cheer team $20 to fork anyone’s yard in Halstead.
“I think it’s really unique,” junior Clara Lewis said. “I don’t think a lot of people have thought of an idea like this.”
In just three days, the cheer team had forked more than 30 yards. That includes three houses that have already been hit twice.
“I was kind of mind-blown by how many people are really liking the idea and wanting us to continue forking people’s yards,” junior Reyna Edwards said. “It seems like a battle with some people.”
Cheer coach Stephanie Bridges said she and her mom came up with the idea.
“It was just something so we could get the community involved and have some fun,” she said.
The community quickly responded as soon as word of the fundraiser began to spread.
“It was supposed to start April 1st, but we ended up getting 13 yards on March 31st,” Bridges said.
The cheerleaders do their forking after dark, but even so, they’ve been caught in the act once so far.
“We have to be sneaky with it,” Edwards noted.
The forks usually stay in people’s yards for a day or two. The forking victim can pay $20 to have the cheer team come remove them and fork a new person of their choosing.
For those who don’t want to be forked, the cheer team does have an option to give some peace of mind.
“You can buy insurance for $30, and that guarantees your yard won’t be forked for the season,” Bridges said.
Without insurance, the next two months could be long ones for some folks.
“We had one person take out all the forks and set them in their front yard, and we had an order to go fork their yard again that night, so we double-forked their yard,” Edwards said.
The cheerleaders will usually leave 100 to 200 forks in a yard, depending on its size. They purchased 2,400 plastic forks at the start and have been reusing them as much as possible.
“A lot break within the process, though,” Edwards said.
The cheer team hopes to raise enough money through this fundraiser to buy a second set of uniforms, which Bridges said would be especially beneficial during basketball season when they might be cheering two or three times a week.
Forking yards has benefitted the team in another way besides just raising money.
“I’ve noticed by doing this, it’s brought the girls together, with team bonding,” Bridges said.
The group isn’t sure if demand will stay high through May 31.
“I could see people fizzling out and buying insurance, or I could see people going back and forth and then finally deciding to buy insurance,” Bridges said.
To nominate someone to be forked, call or text Bridges at 316-833-6590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cheer team will also be raising money by selling fried tacos as concessions at the home baseball and softball games on Friday, April 16.