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'It's good to see young people wanting to give back versus just worrying about themselves'

The team's head coach says that they spent about $100 on brand new stuffed animals and donated them to the Eugene Police Department. It's a fundraiser that cheer captain, Rachel Ulm, says is unique to anything they've done before. (Photo courtesy of Eugene Police Department)

EUGENE, Ore. - It's not uncommon for High School cheer teams to do a little fundraising to help pay for things throughout the season like competition fees, camps and uniforms.

However, the Sheldon High School varsity cheer team recently raised some funds for a unique cause by putting their fundraising efforts back into the community.

The team's head coach says that they spent about $100 on brand new stuffed animals and donated them to the Eugene Police Department. It's a fundraiser that cheer captain, Rachel Ulm, says is unique to anything they've done before.

"This means a lot to me to know that this community has given our team so much and we've been able to have a lot of opportunities in this town," said Ulm. "It's nice to be able to do something for them, and it feels really good."

Haley Warden, another cheer captain, says that her father works in law enforcement, and for her this fundraiser hits close to home.

"I have been on quite a bit of ride-alongs, and there have been times where there are children that are in need of a distraction," said Warden. "Having a stuffed animal for them will really help. It always brightens their day to even be with a police officer, but it makes it even better to get a stuffed animal."

Officer Judson says that these stuffed animals could help distract the children from what's actually going on.

"It could be from being in a traffic crash or kids just having a bad day and need something to brighten their day, so this will help," said Officer Judson.

Tangie Clark, who is the head coach of Sheldon's Varsity cheer team, says that fundraising took place during basketball games.

"The community really got involved," said Clark. "They knew what the money was going for, and they really got behind it. It wasn't just the team, it was the Sheldon community too."

The fundraiser involved more than just stuffed animals, too. The team's spirit of giving has made an impact in the community as well.

"I'm very proud," said Officer Judson. "It's good to see young people wanting to do that and give back, versus just worrying about themselves and 'all about me.'"

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