DSU Men’s Basketball & Cheer Bring the Holiday Spirit

By Stacy Schmidt

The Dixie State University men’s basketball team and cheerleaders spread some holiday cheer to local pediatric hospital patients and homeless youth thanks to the generosity of DSU supporters Markay and Ashley Johnson. Children’s faces lit up when more than 30 DSU cheerleaders and basketball players walked through the hospital doors, sharing their positive energy and distributing holiday gifts to the children currently receiving care. The Trailblazers brought gifts for each patient as well as gifts that the pediatric unit can use all year. The teams then traveled to Youth Futures, St. George’s new homeless shelter for teens, with arms full of gifts for the youth staying there. They delivered free passes to DSU basketball games, earbuds, phone chargers, clothes, sleeping bags, and other necessities. When shopping beforehand, the athletes thoughtfully selected what the youth might want and need.  They also got to meet some of the homeless youth and spend some time getting to know them. “While it is important to coach our players and cheerleaders and teach them the skills of their sport, I think it is even more important to help them be the best person they can. So, each year we plan a service project to help our athletes think outside of themselves and give back to our community,” said Kristi Shaw, head cheer coach for Dixie State University. “It reminds our athletes of the importance of giving back to those in need, bringing light in dark moments, and serving other people. It truly brings the spirit of Christmas into all of our lives.”