Once the fee had been sent in, Merrifield said, “they sent us a confirmation letter saying that we were going.”
Merrifield will spend seven days in London with Haynes and Barbara Countz, Haynes’ boss. Merrifield said she’s most looking forward to touring Buckingham Palace and getting to meet the Queen Elizabeth II.
She added that the UCA has several other activities planned, including a cruise down the Thames River.
This will be Merrifield’s first time leaving the country and first time getting on an airplane, she said. It won’t be Merrifield’s first parade, but the local parades in which she’s marched might not compare with the two-mile British New Year’s Day extravaganza.
“We have to walk and dance at the same time, and it’s totally different because you perform it more than once,” Merrifield said.
“They said we would perform it about 25-40 times.”
Though Merrifield is the only Lady Buff who’ll march in London, two Hartshorne Lady Miners will join her: Sarah Stiltner and RaeGail Wilson.
“This is the 26th year we’ve been able to bring talented cheerleaders to London, where they can showcase their skills to a very enthusiastic international audience,” Mike Fultz, the Varsity International Event Coordinator, said in a press release.
This will be Merrifield’s third year as a McAlester cheerleader. She started as an eighth-grade student.
The fourth of five children, Merrifield also dances and participates in 4-H. She said she wants to be someday become a pharmacist.
Based in Memphis, Tenn., Varsity was founded in 1974, according to its website. The organization also runs the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, at which the Lady Buffs pom squad will perform in February.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.