Happy Holidays Broncos Country!
I think these past Broncos wins are really making this holiday season more memorable than ever! Alongside those wins, the Broncos Cheerleaders have some seasonal events we partake in to make the holidays a special time for everyone! As a Broncos Cheerleader, we understand that we have so many opportunities to reach out and touch the hearts of our fans. No matter what season it is, the cheerleaders are out in the community helping raise awareness for all the special charities and events around Colorado.
During the holidays, however, we have even more reasons to give back and be thankful for every person we meet. I’d like to talk about my 3 favorite events coming up this month!
First off, we have Cheer For The Troops. Every year the cheerleaders send special care packages to our troops for Christmas to remind them how thankful we are for their services. We collect all kinds of donations from shaving kits, to DVDs, and collect a ton of snacks and Broncos collectible items. Of course we always include signed calendars and posters as well!
After all of these goodies are collected, we separate them into categories such as food, toiletries, magazines, etc., and then start packing a wide variety of everything into large boxes. After a full day of packing, taping, labeling, and weighing, we then pack up our cars and head over to the post office where we’ve become very good at creating a shipping assembly line. All of the cheerleaders take part in donating, packing, labeling, and shipping about 50 packages.
Packing these boxes and being there to help ship them off is something that really touches me. As a fourth year member of the DBC, I have been on three of our military entertainment tours including Iraq this past summer. While there, we were able to actually sit and talk with our troops during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Listening to all of their stories and hearing them tell us over and over how thankful they were for our small 12-day visit was extremely humbling and really opened my eyes to how selfless our troops are. I have such a huge appreciation for our military and just hope these packages can put a smile on their face. Thank you to everyone serving in our US Military!
Next up we have our Junior Denver Broncos Cheerleaders family and friends show. While this isn’t exactly a “Holiday” event, it always takes place during the season and is so fun to see all of the excitement in the girls’ eyes. During our junior clinics we are typically teaching our squads their gameday performance routines. But at every clinic we take time to work on a special “squad” routine. There are 16 squads in JDBC, separated by age then separated into AM and PM, so each DBC instructor has anywhere from 25-60 girls. The instructor has the opportunity to get creative because we get to pick our music and choreograph our own squad routines!
After a full season of rehearsing these dances the girls are given the opportunity to perform it, with or without their instructor, recital style at our friends and family show. The DBC even do some holiday dances in our Santa dresses in-between shows. It is so much fun to sit and talk with the girls on this day and watch their confidence come out during their routines. They all have holiday stories they are just dying to tell you and are excited to perform so the energy level is very high.
Even though these girls are young they already know some of the great qualities the DBC program takes pride in. While they are excited for Christmas they also know how important it is to give back to their community during the season. This show helps us remind them how lucky we are to be able to do the things we love and to keep giving back whenever they have the chance.
On to my favorite holiday event, Craig Hospital! Craig Hospital is exclusively dedicated to spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation, and research. Each year, Craig Hospital treats patients from 47-50 states. Every December, the Broncos Cheerleaders bust out our Santa Suits and head over to Craig. Typically we prepare a couple routines to kick off our day there, but this year it will be more of a show with several varieties of dances.
After performing our routines for the patients we get into position for photos. These photos are then printed off for each patient to keep! But the photos don’t end there; we make sure we bring a stack of posters and calendars to hand out as well. While we sign these for everyone, this is our opportunity to get to know the incredible patients staying at Craig. Each person there has such an inspiring story.
After visiting downstairs for a while, we split into two groups and head upstairs to visit the rest of the patients that weren’t able to make it downstairs. With each room we visit we are left with heartwarming and incredible success stories.
My favorite story over the past four years was of a husband and wife in their late 60s from New Jersey. Just a typical day at the beach for this beautiful couple turned into a traumatic life changing event when the man was hit the wrong way by a wave while standing only knee deep in the water. He was scheduled to soon leave the hospital but would be leaving paralyzed from the chest down. Although he couldn’t physically move, the way he and his wife spoke so openly with us and gave us huge thanking hugs before we left touched our hearts forever. It was amazing to see the love and support from his wife and family. And hearing how happy they are together even though life had taken an unexpected turn made me realize that if you stay optimistic and motivated, you get whatever you give out of life.
Every person we meet has a special place in our hearts and will play a big part in our DBC memories for the rest of our lives. With their motivation and the help of the staff Craig Hospital has many amazing success stories and has been ranked in the Top 10 Rehab Hospitals for 20 consecutive years. We can’t wait to see you all soon!
These three events are very special to me and I am grateful for all the opportunities DBC presents. Tis the season to give back to the community and we’re happy to help wherever we can! I hope that everyone has enjoyed this football season and I can’t wait to see what else this month in store!
Until next time, Happy Holiday and Go Broncos!!!