Inspiring Community Cheer Stories

by omni

Cheerleaders at all levels are frequently involved with their community. Whether it’s through fundraising or helping out a program in need, cheerleading squads from all over find unique ways to give back and inspire their community. While it’s impossible to share every story, we can share a few of our favorites. If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community, take a cue from these squads who have helped out those in need: Making Blankets for Hospital Patients In Illinois, the Hinsdale Central High School cheerleaders find time in their busy schedules to make blankets for patients at their local Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. During football games, the 54 cheerleaders raised money in the form of donations from game attendees. From three home games, the cheerleaders raised more than $3,000! That money was used to purchase fleece material they used to make blankets during a practice session. Each cheer squad had its own special task: the freshman squad made infant blankets, the JV squad made blankets for the elderly, and the varsity squad made blankets for the children and teens. The team made 168 blankets total! One of the senior captains, Haleigh Monyek, explained, “we wanted to make a difference and help the patients feel loved. We’re a pretty large group that has the potential to make a difference, so we wanted to do something positive that would make a difference and help some people.” Encouraging Younger Cheerleaders A number of NFL cheerleading squads are very involved with their community. The Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders created the Angels program nearly a decade ago, allowing young cheerleaders between the ages of three and five the chance to interact with their role models. The girls get to visit the cheerleaders at practice, join them for an annual picnic, and attend a Halloween party. The Kansas City Cheerleaders teach the girls dances, cheers, and lessons on eating healthy and being a good friend. Similarly, the Philadelphia Eagles cheer squad hosts an annual clinic for youth cheerleaders and aspiring cheerleaders. The Washington Redskins cheer squad not only hosts a clinic for young girls and boys, they also participate in almost 600 community and outreach events. Inspiring Brains Started by former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader Darlene Cavalier, Science Cheerleader is an organization made up of current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who work in or are pursuing careers in science or engineering. Members of Science Cheerleader encourage women to engage in research projects, pursue science careers, and promote science in the community. Since its inception in 2006, Science Cheerleader has helped launch the Philadelphia Science Festival, teach science through cheers, mentor students, guest lectures, and, of course, cheer and perform at science festivals. This group is proof that cheerleaders aren’t airheads; they’re intelligent individuals! Speaking Out Against Bullying The cheerleaders and dancers of the Premier Athletics Michigan Extreme teams partnered up with the popular children’s music group and TV series called “Ariel, Zoey & Eli” to film an anti-bullying music video called “Hey Bully!” One of the Superstars of All Stars, cheerleader Dee Temples, teamed up with Cheer Channel Inc. to launch an anti-bullying campaign. Along with other campaigners, Dee will speak out against bullying, share personal stories, and lead the charge to stop bullying in the spirit industry. Having been the victim of cyber bullying herself, Dee is determined to help end bullying and to help those affected by hurtful words or actions – online and off. Incorporating Fundraising In Greenwich, CT, the high school squad used their love of shopping and fashion to create a fundraiser that also benefits and brings together the community! The cheer squad hosts an annual Fashion Show and Holiday Boutique. The squad’s head coach Maryanne Catalano told the Greenwich Post, “It really is a nice event that brings the community together.” Most of the items from the vendors are holiday-themed, allowing guests and participants to start their holiday shopping early. What’s great, and a way to encourage vendors to participate, is that the vendors keep money they earn. The cheerleading team raises money for their program with the silent auction. Various local restaurants, hotels, and businesses donated gift certificates and items for the auction.

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