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    Christopher Lintz of CHEER SF and the CHEER For Life Foundation

    Since 1980, CHEER San Francisco—the official cheer team of the City and County of San Francisco— has been thrilling crowds locally, nationally, and internationally with their unique brand of high-energy performances. The all-volunteer group is dedicated not only to providing polished professional entertainment, but also to the philanthropic mission of the squad, serving as true ambassadors of goodwill to the communities in which they perform.

    CHEER SF in 2004 proudly began doing business as their own nonprofit called the CHEER For Life Foundation, Inc. The nonprofit has turned their amazing performance work into a means of providing support to organizations that provide services to individuals and families facing life-threatening challenges such as HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. Christopher Lintz, the President of CHEER For Life Foundation, first joined CHEER SF as a performing volunteer in 2007. Here, he shares more about the Foundation and how being a member of the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) has helped over the years.

    GGBA: Please describe your business and its mission and values.

    Christopher Lintz: Since 1980, CHEER San Francisco has worked to entertain, inspire and activate audiences while improving the lives of people living with life-challenging conditions in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. That’s right, we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year!

    As the world’s first LGBTQ-identified charitable cheerleading team, CHEER SF creates exciting performances featuring high-flying stunts and energetic dance routines. Our performers—all adult volunteers—brighten events throughout the Bay Area (and around the globe!) raising spirits, funds, and awareness for organizations doing critical work in our community.

    GGBA: What led to the formation of CHEER SF?

    Christopher Lintz: CHEER SF originally began in 1980 as the Hayward Raw Rahs, who put down a boombox and performed in the streets of the Castro at a time when such acts were so critical for bringing our community together. After a decade as a proud performing unit of the Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, CHEER SF began doing business as our own 501(c)3 in 2004—the CHEER For Life Foundation. Our charitable mission has become our primary focus: our performances power direct fundraising to support nonprofits offering services to at-risk individuals in the community. We’ve donated over half a million dollars to local, national, and international causes. Just this month we were thrilled to present $60,000 in grants to our current beneficiaries, including the LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel and the LGBT Asylum Project.

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence CHEER SF?

    Christopher Lintz: We are so fortunate to be in a city with a history of strong, vocal, and creative LGBTQ+ leaders fighting to improve the lives of everyone in our community. We are continually inspired by the volunteers who work with our beneficiaries—these are the folks on the ground providing services every day to our neighbors living with life-challenging conditions.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA?

    Christopher Lintz: The strong network of LGBTQ+ nonprofits and businesses has been critical to our organization’s success over forty years. While this has historically been driven by individual relationships, we felt it was important to tap into the organizing and networking that GGBA offers in order to maintain a close connection with all the incredible organizations in the area.

    GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped CHEER SF and the CHEER For Life Foundation?

    Christopher Lintz: Membership exposes our unique program to potential clients, donors, beneficiaries, and volunteers. We see every member of the GGBA as a potential like-minded partner in the work we do to support a thriving community and are thrilled to be a part of the network.

    GGBA: Do you go to the (now virtual) GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? Have they benefited you and CHEER SF, and would you recommend them to others?

    Christopher Lintz: Yes—we always love a chance to socialize (we’re cheerleaders!) and the Make Contact events are a great way to create connections and foster a real support system in the community.

    GGBA: Is CHEER SF still very active now, given that the pandemic has impacted so many community events?

    Christopher Lintz: While our normal performance season was upended by COVID-19, our team is still hard at work. If you have a virtual event, business reopening or simply want to send a friend some spirit for a special occasion, consider hiring us for a digital or socially-distanced cheer! We’d love to help us all celebrate wherever possible in this difficult time—and as a 501(c)3 our fees are tax-deductible.

    For More Information

    CHEER SF: https://www.cheersf.org/
    CHEER For Life Foundation: http://www.cheerforlife.org/


    October Make Contact
    Build Back Better: Brand Strategy and Networking Event
    October 13
    5:30 pm–6:30 pm via Zoom
    Led by GGBA board member Anna Colibri of Colibri Digital Marketing

    Join to discover:

    • Why brand strategy is important now more than ever;
    • 3 takeaways to implement for your brand this month;
    • Meet with other small business professionals and get to know their businesses.

    Share your story of power and possibility!

    Register at: https://ggba.com/event-list/#!event-list
    For information on this event and more: https://ggba.com/

    Published on October 8, 2020