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Preserved memories

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The New England Patriot organization is rich in tradition, legacies, and defining moments. The New England Patriots Cheerleaders (NEPC) are adding another remembrance to the team's heritage.

Patricia F., Athena L., and Stephanie P. looked around the NEPC headquarters and saw vast memories of past squads through pictures, calendars, and annual events. The trio reflects on their individual experiences and pondered how this team would be remembered.

The three cheerleaders considered doing a 'message-in-the-bottle' to archive memories. Athena expanded that idea to a time capsule.

"We see all the pictures on the walls and we wanted to know what was going to define us when future teams look at our team's picture - what are they going to know us by?" said Patricia.  Added Stephanie, "We're always curious to what previous teams were like or what they did. Now, this new tradition can allow us to remember and share stories to the new team when we come back and dig it up."

The object of a time capsule is to collect personal items, put the articles in safe box (capsule), and bury the capsule. The retrieval of the capsule at a defined future date, serves as a reunion.

"A lot of the rookies struggled with what our motivations are in doing NEPC and we just wanted to show the rookies that it's about bonding together, having fun, making connections, and motivating people in the area," said Athena.

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Worry dolls, posters, pick-me-up notes, calendars, and pictures of the seemingly endless Gillette Stadium ramps are just a few of the items that are placed in the capsule. Athena even put in a copy of Stephanie's first demo CD in the capsule so the team can have a good laugh at how young she sounds if she becomes a famous singer some day.

"The items don't have to do with just stuff from the team. We can put anything in that relates to the team or what we each want to hold on to as a memory for this time in our lives," said Patricia.  

The capsule is planned to be buried in the garden behind the NEPC building, although Stephanie has lofty other plans.

"We're going to bury it at the fifty yard line in the stadium. Robert Kraft gave us permission," smiles Stephanie jokingly.

The team has not finished collecting items for the capsule. The trio is encouraging squad team members to keep putting diverse items in the box. With all the cherished memories already collected in the capsule, NECP is going to need to need a bigger box.

 "The capsule may not be big enough. Our garden out back may not be big enough either," laughs Athena.

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