Tulsa cheer team hoping to raise thousands for kids fighting cancer

TULSA, Okla. — A championship winning cheerleading team from Tulsa is hoping to raise thousands of dollars for St. Jude to help children fighting cancer.

A special cheerleading competition, CHEERSPORT, is being held this week with teams from across the country battling it out to raise the most money for St. Jude.

The Twist and Shout Diamonds is a national championship winning team. They won at the same competition last year, so they are defending champions, but on top of that they’re hoping to raise money to help children battling cancer. They said this cause is personal to them.

Tatum Riffe is on the team. She’s 16 and goes to Bixby High School.

“St. Jude is such a special philanthropy for my family,” she said.

Tatum’s 13-year-old sister Eliza was 9 when doctors found a small benign tumor on her brain stem.

Eliza doing OK now, but Tatum said St. Jude really helped her family.

”It’s been super helpful, especially at such a stressful time for me, parents and my family, knowing that they didn’t have to worry about paying any bills,” she said.

CHEERSPORT has raised more than $530,000 for the cause since 2015.

18-year-old Raygan Davis is also on the Diamonds team. She said they just want to give back.

“It just really reminds us that cheer is way more than just cheerleading it just reminds us like there’s a bigger purpose,” she said.

Tad Puetz is the coach of the Twist and Shout Diamonds.

“Medical bills are expensive and some people they can’t afford it, parents can’t afford it when their kids get sick and unfortunately it’s out of their control and this is a great way for healthy athletes to give back to kids that aren’t necessarily in their position,” Puetz said.

The competition is on Friday night in Georgia. The team is raising money ahead of the competition and has a goal to raise at least $10,000.

To help the Diamonds reach their goal, click here.