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Memorial created 04-16-2007 by
Kim Nesbitt Maureen Geisinger
McKayla W. Geisinger
December 20 1993 - March 19 2007


McKayla W. Geisinger
SJN Mite Cheerleading Spirit Award


Today, we are pleased to honor one SJN Mite Cheerleader with Our First Annual McKayla W. Geisinger Spirit Award.

Some of you might be thinking to yourselves, who is McKayla Geisinger?  While others of you may have very fond memories of McKayla. If you don’t mind, could you indulge me for a few moments, while I give you a little background about this special young lady?

McKayla was a part of the SJN Mite cheer team for two years (2002-2003 season and 2003-2004 season).  In her second season, McKayla lead a team of 6 cheerleaders to win the State CYO Championship.  McKayla was always especially polite to both the coaches and her fellow cheerleaders.  She was patient, waiting for everyone to catch up and learn the cheers.  She had amazing perseverance. McKayla never gossiped or criticized any of her peers or coaches and she never had a negative attitude.  She was one of the most compassionate and loyal cheerleaders - and she was always friendly to everyone. McKayla would come ready for practice or a game with a smile on her face and determination in her heart! She was a kind, thoughtful team player, unwilling to give up, seeking a challenge.  She was strong, positive, non-judgmental, loyal, and driven to live up to high expectations. 

McKayla passed away from an undetected congenital heart defect on Mar 19, 2007, while attending Environmental Camp with her 7th grade class from the Amherst Middle School
.   She is missed beyond comprehension.  In the words of one of her class mates and friend …. 'And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.’Nothing gold can stay.' McKayla was gold.' And the only thing worse than losing her, would be never to have known her.

The winner of this year’s 2008 McKayla Geisinger Spirit Award will go to the Mite cheerleader who has emulated McKayla’s persona.  She has shown undeniable commitment to her team’s success; she has demonstrated an unmatchable level of enthusiasm & positive attitude; she consistently set an example of energy and determination to succeed; she helped team members in need; she was always courteous and respectful to other teams; and she serves her community and church outwardly and proudly. 


It is my honor to present the 2008 McKayla Geisinger Spirit Award to Stephanie Sylvester!


By: Cecilia and Isabella,  From: Amherst  Email:

Our family attended the St. John Neumann CYO awards banquet yesterday afternoon. The church hall was full of young basketball players and cheerleaders, all celebrating the conclusion of successful seasons.

The afternoon awards session opened with the presentation of the Michael DeCosta award - also named after a young athlete who lost is life much too early. The boy's award was given to Stephen Spence, one of McKayla's classmates. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Mr. Eaton presented the McKayla Geisinger award - for the Mite cheerleader that best exemplified McKayla's persona. It was quite emotional for all who attended as he read the text prepared by Maureen and Greg. The recipient, Stephanie Sylvester, seemed quite surprised and humbled.

While we don't know her well, we did see her cheering at many Mite Boy Basketball games, always with a smile on her face. What I sticks out the most for us, however, is  something that happened during the team's state championship competition routine. Apparently, Stephanie had finally "gotten" her back handspring the week before the competition - and was included in a group of girls doing simultaneous back handsprings in a group tumbling formation. The girls did three in a row - and on the last one, Stephanie landed on her knees. It was obvious to the crowd that she was in a lot of pain. Yet she got up, got to her next position, and finished the routine with a great SJN Cheerleader smile (even though tears were running down her face!) What a great example of spirit and determination - perfect attributes for the first winner of the McKayla Geisinger Spirit Award.

The other neat thing was that she also bears a resemblance to KK - with similar blonde hair, twinkling blue eyes and a friendly smile.  We were honored to be present and to commemorate the spirit of a wonderful young woman. It is comforting to know that McKayla's spirit is working on in so many wonderful ways.


Cecilia and Isabella Stuopis



Please sign the guestbook for McKayla by clicking here

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