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Community Appearances
By Michael Vandermause
For BaltimoreStories.com

When the Ravens Cheerleaders are back in the states, they participate in anywhere from 60 to 80 different charity events each year. Although not in the Baltimore area, one of the most recent charitable contributions from the cheerleaders was made to the Red Cross in an effort to send relief to victims of hurricane Katrina. For attending all of the practices and performances each week, the cheerleaders receive a small paycheck. The unanimous decision was made for each team member to donate their entire first pay check this season to the American Red Cross. Read more about this here.

“The coaches came and approached us about doing it. Cause I think a lot the squads around the NFL were doing stuff for the Saints cheerleaders,” said Rob, one of the men on the stunt squad. “So they came to us with the option at practice, and we had to make an all or nothing decision.”

The cheerleaders also to many other events around the Baltimore area including a fundraiser for sickle cell research, a walk for the American Heart Association, a breast cancer research walk and many others.

“I try to do [the American Heart Association walk] every year,” Courtney said. “That means a lot to me because my father had a heart attack a few years ago”

One of the women on the dance team, Chrissy, has participated in a large number of charity events for the team. One her favorite events is when they visit St. Vincents' home for sexually abuse children, she said.

“It was great just to be around those kids, who don't have those parental figures in their lives anymore,” Chrissy said. “We really bring a lot to them, and they really just enjoy seeing us and the players. It brings this whole new perspective to them. And they love the Ravens.”

For Chrissy, who has been on the squad for five years, the most rewarding part about being active in the community is bringing joy to the children.

“I just did a sickle cell walk,” she said. “The patients were actually there. It was a lot of fun to interact with the kids and it really brightened their day. They were really excited to see us. Any kind of events with kids are my favorites.”

Sometimes community service for the Ravens involves more than just making money. Sometimes a simple cheerleading performance can put a little extra bounce in a young person's step.

“Sometimes we do get to perform for them, and their eyes just twinkle,” Chrissy said. “That little enjoyment in that day just brightens their life, and I really enjoy that.”

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More Than Just Cheerleaders: The Ravens Cheerleaders are kept busy with a grueling practice schedule and weekly performances at home games.

Putting Down the Poms, the Autograph Pens… and Making a Difference: Autumn Harvest, Hurricane Katrina Relief and Habitat for Humanity.

Supporting the troops: One of the most extraordinary things the team has done was going overseas to perform for the American troops serving in the Mediterranean region.