Tyler Junior College formally announced its newest team of Apache Belles.

More than 50 young women will make up the 2019-20 line of the precision dance team, which has been around for more than 70 years. The team performs at football games and on stages locally and around the world.

In addition to the announcement, which took place Friday at TJC, the Belles debuted this year’s high-kick routine and presented incoming freshmen with their official Apache Belle necklaces, a memento of their time on the Apache Belles line, according to a TJC news release.

“Formal Announcements mark the kickoff to our year,” director Jasilyn Schaefer said, “and it’s the Apache Belles’ first public performance of the season.

“For the sophomores, it is their time to step into their role as new leaders of the team; and for the freshmen, it marks the ceremonial beginning of their journey as an Apache Belle.”

The team already has a fall trip planned. In October, the Apache Belles will accompany World War II and Korean War veterans on the Brookshire’s Heroes Flight to Washington, D.C.

In 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co. embarked on a mission to escort a group of World War II veterans to Washington to visit the World War II Memorial, along with several other points of interest. The first Heroes Flight took place in May of that year, with 38 veterans attending. The trip was fully funded and coordinated by Brookshire’s, at no cost to the veterans.

To date, more than 400 military veterans have participated in the Heroes Flight.

“We are humbled to have been invited to accompany these service members to Washington,” Schaefer said. “Not only is it an honor to join them and perform for them, it’s also a great educational opportunity for our students to tour our nation’s capital.”

Schaefer added, “To be able to take this trip with a group of our brave military who have defended our freedom is an experience these students will never forget.”

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