Grapevine High School cheerleaders and student council members handed out Hawaiian leis during lunchtime to all students and staff who donated to relief efforts for those affected by the Maui wildfires through Aug. 25.

The backstory

According to a district news release, cheerleaders planned in April to make the first pep rally of the school year Hawaiian themed, but after hearing about the wildfires in Maui, they decided to use their platform to make a difference.

“When we started getting close to this pep rally, it just didn’t sit right with us to have this whole theme and not do anything for the people who have literally lost everything they have,” said Morgan Laney, a Grapevine High School English teacher and the head cheer coach.

Laney added the cheerleaders talked about what they could do and looked into the different organizations.

“[They] felt that the best thing we could do was to team up with the public schools in Maui,” Laney said.

Zooming in

According to the news release, the cheerleaders went to the school’s student council—referred to as StuCo—to see if they wanted to assist.

Donations will also be accepted online through Sept. 1. All contributions will be donated to the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, which is partnering with the Hawaii Department of Education to directly support Maui Public Schools affected by the wildfire, the news release stated.

What they’re saying

Crysjon Scott, a senior and the captain of community service for Grapevine High School cheerleaders, said raising funds was the right thing to do.

“We just thought with what’s going on right now instead of changing the theme, it would be a great way to spread awareness,” Scott said.

Laney added how proud she is of all of the students, StuCo and the cheerleaders.

“We are still having the pep rally. It is still Hawaiian themed, but now we just know we can do something good,” Laney said. “The world is bigger than Grapevine, Texas, and we can always do good for other people."