DENVER** — The Denver Broncos have selected the team's cheerleaders as its USAA Salute to Service Award Nominee in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the "Cheer for the Troops" collection drive.
The Salute to Service Award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. Each team identifies a nominee for the national award.
"Cheer for the Troops" is an annual campaign that encourages Broncos Country to join the cheerleaders in collecting items for servicemen and women all over the world to be distributed during the holidays. Since the campaign's inception in 2007, more than 37,000 pounds of items have been donated, totaling more than 4,000 individual boxes delivered to soldiers.
In 2016, "Cheer for the Troops" collected 6,066 pounds of hygiene, food and fun items, which led to the team shipping 674 packages to service men and women.
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)
"For 10 years, Cheer for the Troops has been a way for our team and our Broncos community to make sure these service men and women know they are not forgotten back home," Director of Cheerleaders Shawna Peters said. "The 600 kids in our Jr. Cheerleaders program are fully vested in the program as well, collecting items from home, school, friends and family as well as making sure every box shipped has a personal letter of gratitude from them. Connecting the children in our program to the values we share as a country will hopefully create a legacy of helping serve those who serve." Fans can get involved this year by donating items at all Denver Broncos Team Store through Dec. 9.