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Cheerleaders draw crowd at calendar launch

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When you mix cheerleaders, swimsuits and sporting goods, you're bound to get fans. And they came by the plenty Thursday to the 2008 Houston Texans Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar launch at a local Academy Sports and Outdoors store.

"I feel like it's our record release," said cheerleader services manager Alto Gary. "Everybody came out to get autographs. It's a great turnout, so we're excited."

Texans fans lined the store aisles to meet the 15 cheerleader calendar girls, who were seated next to 8' x 6' photos revealing their respective calendar poses. The cheerleaders enjoyed two hours with the fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

For one little girl, talking to the Texans Cheerleaders was an experience she will never forget.

"It's very, very exciting for me," said 8-year-old Brandye, who donned her cheerleading uniform for the event. "It's my first time to meet cheerleaders in person. I'm just so excited to meet them."

The cheerleaders, on the other hand, were just thrilled to be a part of the calendar and the launch festivities.

"I'm very excited to be a part of the very first Texans Cheerleader Calendar," said Miss July Lindsay. "The whole experience has just been an honor to be a part of and we love how it turned out; we're very excited."

For Erica, the biggest honor was being chosen for the backside of the calendar.

"It was just awesome, because it was between two pictures and they actually picked the one that I think I like more," Erica said. "It kind of fits my personality a little bit better, jumping around and being crazy like I am.

"I think we're all excited about it and it turned out really beautiful. All the pictures, everybody looks great."

The calendar is available at all Houston-area Academy locations and all proceeds from sales will benefit the Houston Texans Foundation and the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center.

"We're real excited with our partnership with Academy and allowing the fact that 100 percent of our proceeds go to charity with the Houston Texans Foundation and the DeBakey Heart Center," cover girl Celina said. "The calendar is so beautiful; everybody inside the calendar looks amazing. It's tastefully done with still a sexy side."

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