REED CITY — When lives are touched be it by healing or hurt, they are often changed forever.

Reed City High School’s cheerleaders are no exception. In recent years, they and their coach have been touched by family illnesses and those of dear friends including heart issues, cancer, H1N1, and more.

Because they care, they are offering an opportunity this Friday to be a part of a special cause during Reed City’s home football game.

Coach Amanda Powers explained that the cheerleaders will be selling T-shirts bearing the logo: “Saving lives is a real sport.”

Funds raised will be donated to the American Heart Association, Powers said. She shared that it was six years ago Tuesday, September 13, that her father, Jim Ward died. Arrangements for him to be both an organ tissue and eye donor, allowing him to help others even in death, she said.

It was because he dared to care.

She added that his decision impacted her greatly, as did the situation Angie Pontz has faced in recent years with her own husband, Kevin. The Pontz family has shared a familial health issue among its members over the years, Powers explained. Cardiomyopathy.

As a result, it was decided to hold the fundraiser to not only raise money to donate to the American Heart Association, but also to increase awareness.

She said Michigan Senator Darwin Booher will speak about heart issues during halftime of the football game, and tables will be set up with information available concerning heart health and heart-related issues, as well as how to become a donor. In fact, people wishing to sign up for the Gift of Life, can do so at that time.