Senior cheer captains Mackenzie Sweat and Kendall Reeves presented a check for $2200 to seniors John David Cunningham and Jill Whitwer at Friday night’s basketball game. The money will be donated to Farmer’s House, a program that provides jobs for teenagers and adults with mental or physical impairments.
The varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman teams have worked throughout the year to raise enough money to cover their own expenses and also donate some to the Farmer’s House.
The money will go towards community integration services and the opening of a new location at 47th and Rainbow.
“This new location will allow the kids at SME to have a Farmer’s House in their neighborhood,” said Mackenzie’s mother, Susan Sweat. “They can have a little bit of work, a little bit of play, socialize and have fun.”
Lindsey Haymond, the head coach during the first year of the team’s involvement with the Farmer’s House, wanted the girls to be leaders in the East community, but also encouraged the team to get involved outside of school.
Sweat knew that the Farmer’s House was looking for volunteers and could handle the size of the squad, so the girls started volunteering there two years ago.
The girls are proud of their involvement with the Farmer’s House and look forward to volunteering at their current location in Weston, MO.
“We have volunteer signups at the beginning of the year to work in the fall,” said captain Kendall Reeves. “When we’re there we fry apple fritters, package apple dumplings and clean up the storage area.”
This year the team started off their fundraising with a barbeque sale in the fall. They sold countless rib dinners that included five ribs and multiple sides.
Mackenzie considers the barbeque fundraiser one of her favorite cheer memories.
“My dad makes all of the meat and everyone comes over to make a huge assembly line,” said Mackenzie. “We always have a good time.”
Along with the barbeque sales, the cheer teams have also set up two cheer clinics this year for elementary and middle school students. In the past, the team only hosted one clinic during football season. But since they were so successful this year, they decided to organize a second clinic for basketball season.
“We have donated 10 percent of our fundraising profits and are so happy the money is going to the Farmer’s house,” Sweat said. “They have an incredible mission and are just a truly amazing organization overall.”