Fraternity raises money to help girl with Down syndrome realize dream of being a cheerleader

It’s not unusual to see a fraternity holding a barbecue, but the barbecue held by the fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Phi at TCU, was not your typical frat barbecue. The chapter raised more than $2,000 to help a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome realize her dream of being a cheerleader.

Maddie has wanted to be a cheerleader her whole life, but the road hasn’t been easy. She’s been cheering privately for years, but when she tried out for her middle school team, she didn’t make it.

Last year, her mom challenged the rules, citing Maddie’s disability, and asking that she be judged against the scoresheet, not the competition. Maddie finally made the team, but there was still the issue of the $2000 it cost to participate. That’s where the men at TCU’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity came in.

They learned about Maddie through TCU cheerleader Cami Branson, who has supported Maddie for more than a decade. Once the fundraiser was organized, they quickly raised all the money Maddie needed to compete, even getting TCU’s head football coach to participate.

“There’s nothing better than helping out this little girl get on a cheer team,” Pi Kappa Phi member David Gaw told Fox 4. “It’s about changing her life.”