PARKER, Colo. —**For Denver Broncos Cheerleaders, the month of November is dedicated to showing military appreciation as part of the league's Salute to Service month. Since 2007, the team has participated in Cheer for the Troops, an initiative aimed at collecting supplies to ship to deployed military.
Saturday afternoon, a few Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot hung out at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Parker to kick off the program by signing autographs, taking photos and collecting donations.
"I still get butterflies each time I see a young girl or someone that's so appreciative of what we do for the community," rookie cheerleader Hayley said. "I don't think that feeling will ever go away. It's so great to come out into the community and have Freddy's be so supportive of us in helping with our Cheer for the Troops program." It's the team's third year partnering with Freddy's to collect items to ship in the different care packages. For the popular fast-food chain, the partnership could not be a more perfect fit.
"Freddy's is so military and children-oriented," said Amy Bevans, a Freddy's representative. "When we heard about Cheer for the Troops, it was right up our alley. Freddy Simon is 91 years old, and he served in World War II. So, it's very important to his family, who are the owners of this company, to support anything military-related."
After a month of collecting items, the cheerleaders, along with Freddy's staff members, will get together to pack all of the items to be shipped in individual care packages.
The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders along with Miles the Mascot hosted their third annual Cheer for the Troops at Freddy's in Parker, Colorado. (Photos by Caroline Deisley)
"It's given us so much joy to collect all the items and then come to the packing day," Bevans said. "It's just awesome to see all the boxes and have members of our staff there helping to make a little bit of a different."
The efforts are making a clear difference. "Colorado Supporting our Troops," an organization the cheerleaders teamed up with to help ship the packages, receives countless messages via their Facebook page and emails thanking them for the items received from the Broncos Cheerleaders' efforts.
Though the requests change every year, the most-requested items are usually Gatorade packets, water filters, baby wipes, various hygiene necessities and, of course, beef jerky. But more than anything, it's the cards received and the personalized messages on the boxes that make a military member feel loved and appreciated.
The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders will host two more appearances at different Freddy's locations during the next month. Click here to find out more information about the participating locations and how you can contribute to their efforts.