Poland Regional High School freshman Meghan Webster does a front hurdle during a recent practice on the school’s football field. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Earning an invite to perform and march in this year’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade left cheerleader Meghan Webster jumping for joy — and with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment.

This rare opportunity for the incoming Poland Regional High School freshman also includes a tour of Pearl Harbor, with stops at the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center and the USS Missouri — providing all athletes with a clear understanding of what President Franklin Roosevelt meant when he said: “A day which will live in infamy.”

“I worked hard for it,” Webster said. “I feel like I accomplished a lot.”  

But the price tag for this once-in-a-lifetime experience — which will take Meghan and her mom, Kristi Logan, on a 10,164-mile round trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Dec. 7 memorial parade — is around $6,000.

The family has been organizing yard and bake sales and created a GoFundMe page to help cover the exorbitant costs. 

Poland Regional High School freshman Meghan Webster, right, and her mother Kristi Logan pause for a photo before a recent cheering practice at the Poland school. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Webster, who also plans to play softball for Poland, has been a cheerleader for the past six years, with her mom coaching her for the last four years. Webster calls cheerleading her passion.


“The other coach for Auburn Wreckers is Crystal Kirk, who I have worked alongside,” Logan said. “Also, Meghan takes tumbling classes through Element under Brianne Daigle. They both have put many hours into Meghan’s success.”

Logan was a Poland Regional High School cheerleader herself, and now works for a delivery company as well as a cheering coach at the Auburn Recreation Parks Department — which explains Webster’s passion for the sport. She added that a visit to Pearl Harbor to honor those servicemen — who fought and gave the “last full measure of devotion” — is a two-for-one deal.

“She will walk in the parade and she will be doing a special performance for the nation’s heroes before the parade,” Logan said. “I also believe she will be taking the USS Missouri tour of Pearl Harbor. It is not just a cheering trip; it is a history trip as well.”


Webster participated in a recent National Cheerleading Association camp at Husson University, where she won the Top American Cheerleading award — which created the opportunity to perform and march in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.

Logan explained why her daughter received the invitation.


“Athletes can get nominated for amazing jumps, for great tumbling or leadership skills. And what happens after that is on the last day of camp, every child who gets nominated does a solo tryout, and if they score a 23 or higher they make the team and they are eligible to perform at different events, and Pearl Harbor happens to be one of those events.

“Meghan not only made the (All-American) team with a high score of over 23, she got the highest score of the whole camp.” 

Webster was on a mission to prove something to herself at the camp.

“I made All-American last year,” Webster, who will be representing Poland Regional High School, said. “So when I didn’t make the team then, it made me feel like I could improve on stuff. So I just worked harder and harder for that.”

Webster went on to write on her GoFundMe page: “I’ve encountered mistakes, falls, a few small injuries and at times feeling completely defeated, but my love for cheering never let me give up. Earning this award is allowing me the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and perform and march at the ‘Remembering The Past and Celebrating The Future Memorial Parade’ that marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Not only do I get to perform and do what I love, but I get to perform in front of some of our nation’s heroes! To say I’m honored is an understatement.”


Webster will be receiving her cheering routine via email two weeks before she departs for Hawaii. She will also have a couple of days of practice with the team after her arrival.

“I honestly could not be prouder,” Logan said of her daughter. “Ever since she was a little kid, cheering has always been a passion of mine. Just to see her work her butt off, it makes it all worth it. For her to get recognized, it is a huge accomplishment and brings tears to my eyes just thinking about her.

“She always says, ‘I can’t wait till we go. It is going to be so much fun.’ She is just invested in it as I am. It is just great to watch her push herself to become better. She is not an average teenager, I can tell you that. In her spare time, she goes to tumbling classes. She is always outside on her tumble track, making her tumbles better.”

Besides the parade, Webster will meet her teammates as well as learn more about Pearl Harbor’s storied history. She said she’s a little nervous about making the long trip, but she is really excited, too.

“(I just) want to thank my mom for most of this because if she didn’t push me as hard as she does, it probably wouldn’t have happened without her,” Webster said.

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