MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - At cheer competitions and showcases, the cheers are loud. However, at this weekend’s Memphis Pride All-Stars’ Showcase, the loudest cheer wasn’t for a performance.
It was for the unveiling of a $28,161 check for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“It’s crazy honestly,” Memphis Pride All-Stars Cheerleader Emalea Morse said. “Knowing what we’ve been able to do.”
All the money was raised at the showcase. The team also collected 1,000 toys for children at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital by having a toy or a small donation be the price of admission at the showcase.
“If they didn’t want to do a toy they could do a $5 donation or whatever they wanted to donate,” Memphis Pride All-Stars Owner Chris Crabtree said. “Some people donated a lot more. Some people brought in multiple toys.”
One family even donated $10,000. But the giving doesn’t stop there.
“Each year we try to add to it and make it a little bigger,” Crabtree said.
Memphis Pride All-Stars also chose 13 kids with Youth Villages to shop for this Christmas. Plus, the team raised $1,200 for its Yoyo Scholarship, which goes toward a cheerleader and is named after a beloved volunteer.
It’s a large accomplishment for the team, but the generosity comes at no surprise.
“It’s Christmas time here all the time,” Memphis Pride All-Stars Cheerleader Erynn Wright said. “You come in here and it’s just warm.”
Memphis Pride All-Stars have cheerleaders from ages four to 18, and even has a special needs squad. They’re kids of all different backgrounds coming together for the love of cheer and community.
Even when their time with Memphis Pride All-Stars passes, they’ve learned a valuable lesson about giving.
“When they have another showcase I’ll be there,” Wright said. “I’ll be donating and giving toys.”
The team plans to make the showcase even larger next year and hopes to raise $100,000.