Eagles cheerleaders go global, local

By Peter Mucha
Staff Writer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Jun. 9, 2009

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Content to remain on the sidelines?

Not the Eagles cheerleaders.

They’re back from Aruba, where they shot their second “eco-sexy” calendar – this time to raise awareness about global warming.

Early next month, six squad members will be off to Iraq to entertain the troops.

Then come two new local events for fans – a July 15 calendar-unveiling show and an Aug. 2 Linc extravaganza.

The calendar show will feature photos on a big screen, dance routines and swimwear modeling, capped off by the grand finale – revealing the woman on the cover, according to Barbara Zaun, the team’s director of cheerleading.

“That will be the first time that she finds out,” Zaun said.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Prince Music Theater event should be on sale at the end of next week. The $22.50 admission includes a copy of the 16-month calender, which covers the Eagles season and all of 2010, Zaun said.

The cheerleaders also will perform at family-oriented Flight Night, which replaces the annual carnival and auction. The new football team will practice, and fans will be treated to giveaways, videos, appearances by former players and mascot Swoop, as well as fireworks.

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Autographed merchandise will be for sale, but autograph sessions with players are no longer in the game plan.

Proceeds from the tickets, starting at $10 for children and $20 for adults, will benefit the Eagles Youth Partnership. Club seats, at $45 each, include the chance to meet cheerleaders and ex-Eagles. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

The calendar shoot went well, and Aruba’s desert area fit into this year’s global-warming theme, said Zaun.

Except when one cheerleader stepped on some cactus.

“We were able to get that feeling of being very hot and dry,” said Zaun.

“I kind of felt like a jungle woman,” said rookie Tracey Dunn, 22, of Philadelphia.

She posed in a bikini by an exotic tree, a tangle of interconnected roots and branches, at the resort hotel, and “the way they did my hair and makeup was really unique,” said the Muhlenberg grad, who works as a casting assistant at a talent agency.

A little yellow eyeliner. Red straw woven into her teased and braided red hair. Yellow earrings made of “hardened leaves.” A belt of sculpted bits of coconut shells.

She didn’t wear any messages, though others did – one T-shirt read “100 Percent Naturally Grown,” she said.

Dunn really enjoyed the experience, from the photo shoot to dance rehearsals, and activities like snorkeling, pool aerobics and mingling with the handful of Eagles fans who booked special trips.

“It was amazing,” she said. “To be there with everyone was just an unbelievable experience.”

Of course, seaside shots were required.

Jennifer Kaiser, 26, back for a fifth season with the squad, posed in the surf at sunset, wearing a necklace whose mini-stop signs with a flaming Earth symbolically say “Stop Global Warming.”

The piece was from Cool Planet Jewelry, whose sales benefit www.stopglobalwarming.org, said the LaSalle grad and longtime Philadelphia resident.

Garments and jewelry were mostly made of natural or recycled materials, to fit the eco-friendly objectives pioneered last year.

Kaiser is also part of the contingent slated to visit Iraq, touring bases from July 1 to 12.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “A lot of people ask me if I’m scared but I’m really not.”

A financial analyst for the Defense Department, she already helps the troops in her job, which involves getting them equipment and supplies.

But she’s happy to entertain them too.

Also heading over are Amanda Bedford, Priscilla Williams, Tiffany Monroe, Krystle Campbell and Alexandra Stephan.

Besides doing some dance routines, they’ll host fun and games, like push-up competitions and trivia contests, and answer questions from the crowd.

“It’s a great opportunity to go over there and visit the troops, and give something back,” Kaiser said.

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