Top fundraising gyms visit Memphis for special recognition breakfast and tour of the hospital.
Memphis, Tenn., July 20, 2015 – Representatives from nine all star cheerleading gyms were invited to Memphis last week to be recognized for their outstanding fundraising efforts on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. The nine gyms were part of the “Team Up for St. Jude Spirited by Varsity” campaign that focused on the all star community, and raised more than $111,000 for the esteemed children’s hospital this year.
Since 2011, The Team Up for St. Jude Spirited by Varsity program has raised more than $3.6 million for St. Jude. This is the second year that all star gyms participated in the program, and 41 gyms nationwide signed on to fundraise. Everyone involved provided valuable funding for the hospital, which provides care for sick children regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
The all star gyms that raised the most were invited to Memphis as the grand prize. This included a tour of the Target house where team members served dinner to patient families and designed bows and noise makers with patients. The group also took a tour of the hospital and each gym was celebrated at a recognition breakfast at St. Jude’s Domino’s Event Center.
“I am so impressed by the all star community’s commitment to St. Jude,” said Brian Elza, General Manager and Vice President of Sales for Varsity All Star. “We are so proud of Varsity All Star’s cheerleaders and dancers and the dedication they bring to this program. I know that this is just the beginning of what they can accomplish.”
The visit was an inspirational one for all involved. Nicole Podraza, owner of Thunder Elite from Bryan, Texas, absolutely loved the experience, “We have so many new ideas for this year. We are going to get started NOW,” she said. “It was so incredibly touching.”
“The all star community has embraced the chance to help St. Jude, and we know that these teams will be role models for cheerleaders and dancers around the country,” said Tres LeTard, General Manager for Varsity All Star.
Varsity All Star has already re-committed to St. Jude for the 2016-2017 season, and has set a goal of raising $250,000 for the hospital.
Below are the top fundraising programs from across the country:
Top Small Gym Fundraisers:
Chico Cheer All Stars from Chico, CA ($1,865)
Thunder Elite All Stars from Bryan, TX ($2,670.25)
SoCal Select All Stars from Poway, CA ($2,937)
Legacy Tumble & Cheer from Carthage, TX ($3,632)
Tumble express Gymnastics from Brazil, IN ($11,328)
Top Large Gym Fundraisers:
Louisiana Athletics from Baton Rouge, LA ($4,530)
Top Gun All Stars, Miami, FL ($5,710)
Heat Athletics from Sussex, WI ($7,155)
Cheer Extreme All Stars from Colfax, NC ($7,500)
World Cup All Stars from Freehold, NJ ($17,805)
For more information, please visit stjude.org/varsity or contact Sheila Noone, [email protected]
About Varsity Spirit
Memphis-based Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, and the leading global source for all things cheerleading and dance. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation and educational camps, clinics and competitions, of which more than 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers attend each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 1,200 employees have been helping raise cheerleading’s influence and profile since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit www.varsity.com or varsitycorp.wpengine.com.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting stjude.org or following us on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.