SOUTHLAKE, Texas - High school cheerleaders in Southlake wanted to do something to help the people of Odessa after the mass shooting that ended with seven dead and nearly two dozen hurt.
The girls set out to raise $10,000. They easily surpassed that.
The cheerleaders created t-shirts that say "One with Odessa." Money from every shirt sold will go to the city to help victims and their families.
A check will be presented Friday night when Southlake travels to West Texas to play against Odessa Permian High School.
The Southlake Carroll Dragon Cheerleaders have already raised more than $10,000. They’re now trying to raise $15,000 by Friday. All of the money is going to a city 300 miles away to people these girls have never even met.
The Southlake Carroll Cheerleaders are showing support for Odessa in many ways.
On August 31, a gunman killed seven people across Midland-Odessa. The youngest victim was 15-year-old Leilah Hernandez, a student at Odessa Permian High School.
Dragon Cheer Booster Club President Tracy Thomas says several cheerleaders called her that night knowing they’d be playing Odessa Permian High School in a few weeks.
“They really wanted to do something for the victims, so we actually had a couple of girls get together and start the design that you see of the T-shirt,” Thomas explained.
The shirts read “We Are one with Odessa” over the shape of Texas. Stars mark Southlake and Odessa and are connected by a heart.
With the help of a local company, the girls finalized the design, printed the shirts and started selling them last week. At $20 apiece, they hope to raise enough money to help families in West Texas pay for funerals and medical expenses. The team sold more than 900 shirts in the first 5 days.
Sheila Mitchell is buying a shirt for someone she does know in Odessa with a special connection to Carroll High School. Her sister-in-law, Tina, graduated in 1973 and has lived in Odessa for years.
“She says ‘I’ve got to have one of these t-shirts.’ So I’m here buying her one, and we’ll put it in the mail to her and maybe she can wear it to the game Friday night,” Mitchell said.
The team will present a check on Friday to the Odessa Community Foundation that's assisting victims and their families.
The Carroll varsity team will travel to West Texas to play Odessa Permian on Friday. They plan to present all of the money they raise during halftime.