Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Embracing Doughversity — The rampant proliferation of recreational hugs, Vodka, and tasty appetizers keep a dispiriting announcement from putting a damper on a hugely successful fundrai$er for the illustrious UCLA Spirit Squad

Pork Dumplings can fix almost anything.  Combine them with a mashed potato bar, grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in tomato bisque, and sweet & sour meatballs, and you might not even notice the apocalypse.  Throw in Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Vodka Lemonade, and you may feel like you are in Heaven — especially when you are surrounded by angels.

And that’s what I experienced on Saturday at the Pavilion Club in iconic Pauley Pavilion:  Pure Heaven.  All that great food, those refreshing libations, and of course, the wall-to-wall beauty.  Not to mention the fun of silent auctions and opportunity drawings, and the engaging COMPANY of families like the Bruichs, the Horns, and the Shaffers, who all were so nice and kept me company through the event.  Also a quick shout-out to Linda McClure, who is the very first “Josephine Bruin.”  She even had to get John Wooden’s approval before Josephine was unveiled for the first time.  He gave it to her, and even remembered her 20 years later at another meeting.  So cool.

Saturday was an afternoon replete with joy and happiness, as it was announced that the charity event was raising even more money than the year before, and as the testimonials poured in.  Women’s Basketball Coach Cori Close spoke about how important the Spirit Squad was to her team; The Mens’ National Championship Water Polo Team echoed that sentiment, and Adarius Pickett of the Football Team gave the Spirit Squad credit for inspiring the Bruins to that historic 34-point comeback against Texas A&M.

With all that emotional positivity, nothing could bring us down, not even a heart-wrenching announcement that came later during the event.  Now, if you know the Executive Director of the UCLA Spirit Squad Mollie Vehling, you know how tough she is, and how Professional she is, and how she has the steely resolve and self-control of a Navy Fighter Pilot.  So it was overwhelmingly moving when she lost her veneer of invulnerability, breaking down and tearing up as she struggled to get out the words that Kyle Bruich, her right hand man and Head Coach of the Cheer Squad, would not be returning to the Squad next year.

I have been personally dreading this day for a long time, as Kyle has been, for years, the nicest, sweetest person in the World, always making me feel welcome and appreciated around the Squad.  I sincerely hope that he continues to have a presence at upcoming events, and not just homecoming.  He will be missed fiercely, by me and by everyone else associated with the organization.

Speaking of fierce, here are 47 more photos from the event!

"EMBRACING UNIVERSITY" was published on February 11th, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos.

Comments on "EMBRACING UNIVERSITY": 1 Comment

  1. JP wrote,

    TH did u bid to become one the Dance Team judges?

    [T-H’s note: Nope. I think it was up to $7,000.]

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