Cheerleaders give back to "People who risk their lives everyday"
JEFFERSON CITY - Cheerleaders rolled up their sleeves and got dirty while washing cars Saturday as athletes at Capitol City Cheer held their Second Annual First Responders Day.
First responders from seven counties were served lunch while their car was washed. First responders were invited to bring their personal or work vehicles.
Cole County Hazmat Communications Technician, Kyle Renick, said it’s great to see the kids give back.
“It’s really amazing that these girls have the time and the courage to put on all of this for us because you don’t see that a lot from people,” Renick said. “This is the second year they’ve done it for us.”
Capitol City Cheer Owner, Ron Swanson said he instills character development and positivity in his athletes.
“It was important to teach our athletes that character development and being someone that’s a strong presence in their community was important,” Swanson said.
Capital City Cheer wanted to recognize first responders for the sacrifice they make every day.
“I’ve always been a person that felt that giving back to our community, especially the hardworking men, women and our first responders, was an important part of being a part of community," Swanson said.
The athletes delivered mint-themed care packages to first responders to show appreciation for their “Commit-MINT”.
Capitol City Cheerleader Claire Thurnau said she’s been cheering competitively for five years and Capitol City is a great environment.
“You’re not only building yourself as an athlete but you’re building yourself as a character,” Thurnau said.
Thurnau, 13, helped coordinate the event and said it’s a way to appreciate first responders.
“The least we can do is cook them a hamburger and wash their vehicles for people who risk their lives every day,” Thurnau said.
Swanson said he has coached cheerleaders for over 20 years. He said he does it for the athletes.
“Anybody that does what I do, we do what we do, mainly for the kids," Swanson said. "Seeing them not just want to give back, but have fun doing it and creating fun environments for them to do it in. That’s why we appreciate so much the fire department and everybody coming out and giving these kids and opportunity, a fun opportunity to give back to them.”
Jefferson City fire fighter Brian Leivian said it’s great to have the athletes give back.
“It’s nice to have the recognition even though we don’t look for it,” Levian said. “It feels good to have somebody do something for us once and a while.”
Jefferson City fire fighter Billy Bolden said days like Saturday are one of the best parts of his job.
“To watch the kids is probably one of the best parts of the job," Bolden said. "Just being able to watch the kids have fun and be around the fire trucks. When we are driving down the road to see little kids wave from the back seat and see them smile, it’s always a good thing.”
Capitol City Cheer said there were over 25 first responders who attended the event last year.
“It’s just nice,” Renick said. “We get to sit down eat barbecue, while they wash our trucks. They really give us a break from our day to day life and careers.”
Renick said Capital City Cheer set an example for others to give back to the community.
“In today’s age people are started realizing maybe we should recognize some of our public servants,” Renick said. "I think it’s great that some of these girls are doing this for us and it’s really taking a step to get other people to do it as well.”