Susan Wehrle doesn't think she would like to be president of the United States, but if she makes up her mind to it, presidential hopefuls in the year 2008 had better watch out.
Ten-year-old Susan, a fifth grader at St. Mark's School on Adelphi Road in Hyattsville, packs enough determination and energy into her 4-foot-10 frame to take her a long way toward any goal.
This energy -- and that of two of her friends, Vickie Lynn Whalen, 10, and Donna Monday, 11 -- for the moment is concentrated on what the three hope will turn out to be a money-making venture.
Not content with earning extra money by more traditional means like babysitting or setting up a lemonade stand, Susan decided to form a professional cheerleading squad.
"I got the idea (in February) lying in bed. It just came to me that that was what we had to do," said Susan, who rushed out the next day to enlist Vickie, a fifth grader at St. Jerome's School on 42nd Place in Hyattsville, and Donna, a sixth grader at Beaver Heights Elementary School in Beaver Heights.
The three girls, who all live along the same quiet Hyattsville street, Kimberly Road, soon organized regular daily practice sessions. They wrote the words and devised the moves for seven orginal cheers, saved money for and helped their mothers make navy-and-white uniforms -- and slowly realized demand was not great for the services of a cheerleading squad of under-12s.
Never mind, said Susan, who was convinced she had the answer to that one, too. And the answer, according to her, was publicity.
As squad leader of the Kimberly Kittens -- the girls borrowed the name from Vickie's mother, who uses it on CB radio -- Susan immediately sat down and began phoning newspaper after newspaper around the area to get publicity. And phoning, and phoning and phoning.
"I know an article in the newspaper would change everything," said Susan.
A string of phone calls over the space of a few weeks won Susan and her friends the interview they wanted.
"My parents read the Post," said Vickie, "and so do Susan's and Donna's and the people at school. We want to get an article printed to show them we're serious about what we're doing, not just messing around."
The girls hope an article about the squad will generate some real work offers. When asked whether they would go if called to perform some autumn Sunday at a Redskins game, all three reacted quickely.
"Would we go?!" exclaimed Donna. "Of course, we would go. That would be the best thing that could happen to us. That would be just. . ."
"Heavenly," finished Vickie.