The New England Patriots Cheerleaders Alumni Association (NEPCAA) convened for a meeting at the East Boston dance studio owned by Beverly Richards Buckley.
Buckley is a former Patriots’ cheerleader and has fond memories of her days in uniform. She said she was happy to be a part of the newly formed group, serving as its membership chair.
“It’s great to see everyone and be involved in a group that has some exciting things planned,” said Buckley, who has coached cheerleading teams at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn in addition to running a very successful dance studio for many years. “There are a lot of brilliant and talented young women who have served as Patriots’ cheerleaders through the years.”
Susan Shannon, director of the Patriots Cheerleaders from 1979 to 1985, is the president of the NEPCAA. Shannon is a former cheerleader at Attleboro High School and coached high school and Pop Warner cheerleading squads.
Shannon said the Patriots’ cheerleaders have gathered at reunions over the past ten years. Those reunions were so successful that the cheerleaders made a decision to form an alumni group.
“A lot of us have grown children and it’s time to give back,” said Shannon. “I just thought it was a shame not to utilize this group of intelligent, professional women. They’re smart, savvy, and talented and they have a lot to offer.”
According to the mission statement on its Web site, the NEPCAA will reconnect former New England Patriots Cheerleaders and associates and provide support to charitable organizations through the promotion of mentorship, leadership, and wellness.
Shannon said the NEPCAA currently has 35 members. Approximately 20 NFL teams have alumni cheerleading groups. “The Washington Redskins have had an alumni association since 1984,” said Shannon. “Their director has started the first NFL Cheerleaders Alumni Reunion and it will be held this July in Washington, D.C. A group of us will be attending the reunion and will be meeting all the other teams.” Shannon said the NEPCAA is affiliated with the New England Chapter of the NFL Alumni Association. The group is not affiliated with the New England Patriots football organization.
“`I have met with New England Patriots officials and hopefully in the future we’ve left the door open that we would be able to work with the Patriots,” said Shannon.
Shannon said that Beverly Richards Buckley was “an amazing cheerleader” during her career with the New England Patriots.
“Whenever you needed someone to go to an event and volunteer for a charity, she was always front and center ready to help out,” said Shannon. “Beverly was a beautiful talent, an incredible dancer, and always a bright sunshine. And her family was phenomenal, too.”