The Sayre Redskin junior high, JV and varsity cheerleaders are pictured in front of their high school, nearly one week after starting a fundraising effort to help a family in Canton that lost everything in a fire. The cheerleaders are still welcoming donations.

SAYRE — Cheerleaders are usually known for boosting school spirit at local high school sporting events.

When fire destroyed the home of a family in Canton last week, Sayre’s cheerleaders stepped up in a spur-of-the-moment effort to boost the spirits of those who had just lost everything any way they could.

Lexi Phillips is friends with one of the victims. She received a text message about the incident after it happened on Oct. 3.

“I went down to see them and they had nothing, so I decided to somehow fundraise,” said Phillips. “I thought we could do something because we were playing them that Friday.”

A text message to coach Tina Vandermark sharing her intentions followed, and then one of the team’s captains, Audrey Noldy, helped promote the drive on Facebook.

During the football game, the JV girls went up and down the stands collecting donations to add to those already received along with proceeds from the night’s program sales. At halftime, Phillips was taking part presentation to her friend with nearly $850 in hand. Other donations, including clothing, were also ready to be handed over.

“It was a good thing for us to do,” said Noldy. “It definitely meant a lot to the girl.”

“It’s the most money they’ve received so far,” Phillips added.

Noldy noted that during Friday’s game night fundraiser, they raised the most money that they’ve ever raised during a game.

“A big shout out to them,” said high school Principal Dayton Handrick as he recognized the girls’ efforts during Monday’s Sayre School Board meeting. “... It was great.”

With permission from the family, officials with the Canton Area School District shared that the family affected by the fire was the Motz, Seeley and Frey family.

The Canton Area School District has done its own fundraising, holding a hat day and donation drive last Friday to help the family out, as promoted on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, support for the family continues to be welcomed in Sayre. Those interested in donating to the effort can contact coach Vandermark via Facebook.

The Sayre cheerleaders will also be raising money for the Nancy Quatrini Patient Fund to help cancer patients as part of next week’s Pink Game.

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