Cheerleading squad holds fundraiser for family of teen killed while sunbathing

Posted at 9:28 PM, Aug 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-16 23:28:53-04

SYRACUSE, Utah -- The Syracuse High School cheerleading squad is used to supporting teams, but on Saturday they supported a grieving family.

The squad organized a fundraiser for the family of Marli Hamblin. She would have been a sophomore on the squad this year, but she was killed earlier in the month. Marli's sister accidentally backed a truck over her while Marli was sunbathing in the family's driveway.

The cheerleaders sold T-shirts, wristbands and window stickers, all bearing the phrase: "Marli's Miracle."

"So Marli's Miracle came up with how she became an organ donor and the miracle lives on through other people," said cheer coach Stephanie Bowen.

The wristbands were the top item sold.

"Very popular, we sold 1,500 so far, out of the 1,700 we brought in and we have another 1,000 en route that will be here Wednesday or Thursday," said cheerleading parent Chad Ritter.

Bowen said the cheer squad is not complete without Marli.

"We consider each other family, and it is like losing a family member and it was devastating but we are staying together as a team and being unified and trying to live on and remember Marli," Bowen said.

The highlight of the fundraiser was the balloon launch. Hundreds of people purchased balloons for two dollars a piece and let them go in unison, in memory of Marli.

"All the money goes to the family, their medical bills are going to be expensive so we are doing everything we can to help out," said Karsyn Bingham, cheer captain.

As captain, Karsyn Bingham knows how to support a team. However, this is much bigger than any game, they're supporting the family of a friend and fellow cheerleader.

"They've just been appreciative of all the support that everyone has given them and the support from not only the cheer team but everyone from the school has been really great," Bingham said.

The cheer squad will also be remembering Marli throughout the year by stitching her initials into their cheerleading uniforms.

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