Thornapple Kellogg cheerleaders carried buckets for donations up and down the bleachers at a recent football game seeking Gridiron Giving donations for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
More than $1,000 was raised by the 27 cheerleaders, said Abby Kanitz, cheerleading coach and science teacher. “It went well,” she said. “The girls were really into it.”
The fundraiser is personal for the community as one of the district’s students, Eathan Callihan, was paralyzed in a diving accident in August and is being treated at the hospital.
This is the second year of the Gridiron Giving, which involves high schools from OK Conference teams, said Devin Pierson, development coordinator for the Spectrum Health Foundation. More than 15 schools are participating, including Grandville, Rockford and Wyoming.
The funds raised will support programs for children being treated at the hospital and their families. Nearly 9,000 inpatients and 190,000 outpatients are treated annually at the hospital, with most of them coming from the West Michigan area. Gridiron Giving funds will go to programs such as the Child Life Department, Center for Child Protection, pediatric cancer care and the Congenital Heart Center.
A celebration announcing the total amount raised will be held in November, Pierson said.