SunDried Parent Teams Raise $36K For St. Jude

The Cheer Central Suns program is known for going above and beyond to give back to their community and raise awareness for the causes they hold near and dear to their hearts.

This year, one unconventional team from Cheer Central Suns raised more than $36,000 in less than 60 days for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In July of 2019, Cheer Central Suns announced their competitive teams via social media. For a good laugh, the gym made a fake announcement for a parent team, SunDried. The joke was met with loads of positive comments supporting the idea from parents across the CCS locations. To drive their point home, parents began meeting for "practice" on their own. 

For some time now, the Cheer Central Suns leadership has had a desire to start a parent’s team. With the parents excited and passionate about the opportunity, Sun-Dried was born. The CCS leadership team gave the Sun-Dried teams three rules:

1. It must be 100 percent parent-driven. No CCS coaches could be involved.

2. They must fundraise for St. Jude. They would compete with one another for the top fundraising title.

3. They were bound by "division" rules that were in place to maintain safety.

Parent teams soon formed at the South gym in Englewood, CO, their New Mexico gym in Albuquerque, NM, and their Central location in Lafayette, CO. 

The response to the new parent teams was amazing. The South gym had 15 members, New Mexico had 22 members, and Central gym had an incredible 45 members! 

The teams received donations from more than 200 individuals and companies in their community. The teams practiced all throughout the fall and performed on Saturday, November 2, at the Cheer Central Suns Season Tailgate and SunDried Showdown. 

“Getting CCS athletes involved in the efforts was humbling. Our athletes learned about being a part of something bigger than themselves. They learned about other kids their age and their stories and struggles and how what they're doing will help those kids and their families. Our families so selflessly gave more than they have ever given despite having their own families to support.” – SunDried Coach, Tanida Ruampant

“Our Central gym parents practiced every Sunday morning,” shared Ruampant. “They learned that cheerleading isn't easy. They met and connected with fellow parents. And, last but not least, they contributed to supporting families in need. When they saw how much we had raised, they were speechless. It was a powerful thing to see that a collection of smaller efforts resulted in such a large impact."

"That's the power of family."

Cheer Central Suns and the SunDried parent teams will continue their efforts to raise money for St. Jude throughout the season. 

The program’s reigning Senior XSmall Level World Champions, Lady Suns, is one of 19 teams participating in Friday Night Live at CHEERSPORT Nationals 2020. Before heading to compete in Atlanta, Lady Suns will be fundraising for St. Jude and spreading awareness through their team social media accounts. 

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