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Pac-12 cheer & spirit teams used time away from the games to give back in 2020-21

Apr 26, 2021

While fans may not have seen them on the sidelines this year, cheerleaders, dancers and mascots across the Pac-12 joined forces to give back this past season. 

Volunteering their time by collecting food, clothing and funds for organizations that make a difference in their campus communities was a focus for spirit squads this season. As ambassadors, these students strive to make an impact that will be felt throughout the entire Pac-12 footprint. The spirit teams used time and energy that was typically spent on practice and games on creating activities around community service and engagement and they plan to continue this work in the future.

"When we learned that we would not be able to support our teams on the field or courts this year, we decided to shift our time and energy into giving back to the communities we love," said Dana Lockett, head cheerleading coach at the University of Oregon. "From creating food pantries to clothing drives to school supplies, we worked individually to collect resources so that we could make someone's day brighter during these hard times. We want to thank all those that participated and donated for their generosity and are proud of creating a ripple effect in giving back. We're already planning on what we will do in the future."

For more information on each university's spirit team's projects, follow the hashtag #pac12spirit and see the list below:

  • Arizona: The Wildcats held a "Donation Drive" collecting socks, blankets and jackets for those in need. 
  • Arizona State: The Sun Devils held a "Pitchfork Food Pantry Virtual donation Drive" and promoted via a social media campaign throughout February.
  • Colorado: The Buffs held a "Clothing Drive" throughout February.
  • Oregon: The Ducks focused their efforts on the charity "Joining the Campus" with their Governors State Employee Food Drive and Food For Lane County. Oregon cheerleading hosted a monthly food and fund drive. The Ducks also partnered with campus for their Food Drive Efforts. Cheerleaders and/or mascot were on location at each drop-off/drive-thru as well as helping at the student food shelter pantry.
  • Oregon State: For the DAM Worth it Campaign (a student-led mental health awareness campaign), the Beavs volunteered to distribute valentine's cards and positive notes to students in the month of February.
  • UCLA: UCLA encouraged fans and followers to support UCLA’s Community Programs Office Food Closet. The Food Closet was created in 2009 and it provides free food for any UCLA student who may be experiencing hunger and/or struggling to attain food due to financial hardships. Due to the “Safer at Home” orders in California, the Food Closet was not accepting in-person donations. The Social media promotions directed fans to donate directly to the Food Closet via giving.ucla.com.
  • USC: Individual team members from the Trojans volunteered on their own time and assisted in their communities with food donations, clothing donations, etc.
  • Utah: Utah hosted a food drive to benefit the "Feed U Pantry" on campus. The food drive took place in the Salt Lake City community.
  • Washington: Focusing their efforts on the charity "UW Food Pantry," the Huskies cheer & dance team, along with Harry the Husky, held a drive-up food drive outside of Husky Stadium.
  • Washington State: The Cougars focused their efforts on "WSU Pullman Food Pantries for Students." WSU Cheer, Dance, and Butch T. Cougar visited neighborhoods around Pullman to collect food donations.