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CHEER San Francisco

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 our unique brand of high-energy performances. This 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 we perform.


The team works together to develop cutting-edge cheerleading shows for annual events like the Castro Street Fair in the fall and Pride parades and festivals in the spring and summer. Throughout the year, CHEER SF enjoys the challenge of preparing for corporate events, community fundraisers, private parties, and more. Our charitable cheerleading efforts are a year-round labor of love that we embrace and cherish.


The world’s first LGBTQ-identified cheerleading team, CHEER San Francisco was founded in 1980 by Guy Andrade who originally named the team the Hayward Raw Rahs. In 1990, the name was changed to the Bay Area Raw Rahs; and in 1996, we became known as CHEER San Francisco.


In 1993, CHEER SF became a performing unit of San Francisco’s Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts, thus establishing ourselves as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In 2004, CHEER SF proudly began doing business as our own nonprofit called the CHEER For Life Foundation, Inc. The CHEER For Life platform has become our primary focus, turning our 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.


In 2000, CHEER SF became the first and only partner organization of the Lesbian and Gay Bands Association following more than 10 years of performing at national and international events with the wonderful musicians who comprise LGBA.

Achievements & Accolades

CHEER SF has achieved immense success over the past three decades. Our performances have touched millions of people around the world, and our fundraising has impacted the lives of thousands with life-challenging conditions. In return, we are honored and humbled by the appreciation that we have received at numerous moments in our story:

  • Performed at The World Champion Golden State Warriors halftime shows for LGBT nights in 2010, 2017 and 2018.

  • Named the Official Cheer Team of the City and County of San Francisco in June 2015 on the occasion of our 35th anniversary (2015)

  • Became the first cheer team to perform in the San Francisco Giants World Series Victory Parade (2012 and 2014)

  • Became the first cheer team to advance to the Top 48 on America's Got Talent (2010)

  • Received proclamation of “CHEER SF Day” in the City of San Francisco on May 25, 2005 by Mayor Gavin Newsom (2005)

  • Awarded first place trophies and cash awards at parades such as the Chinese New Year, SF Italian Heritage Day, SF St. Patrick’s Day, SF Pride, San Jose Pride, West Hollywood Pride, Dallas Pride, Edmonton, Canada Pride, and Larkspur/Corte Madera July 4th (2002-2014)

  • Became the first American cheerleading team to perform in Singapore (2002)

  • Received the first 2 team Gold Medals for Cheerleading in Gay Games history at Gay Games 8 in Cologne, Germany (2010)

  • Was multiple-time recipient of the Leadership Trophy, awarded at College Cheer Camp to the team most admired by other teams (2000-2011)

  • Became the first LGBTQ-identified cheer team to be invited to perform at a US Presidential Inauguration (1997)

  • Delivered performances at world renowned venues such as the Sydney Opera House, New York's Paramount Theater, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, and Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam (1997-present)

  • Serve as largest, most seen, most fiscally successful, and longest-running charitable nonprofit cheerleading team in the world (ongoing)

Further, CHEER SF is distinguished as the only cheerleading team to have appeared at all nine Gay Games (international quadrennial athletic and cultural event):

  • 1982 San Francisco

  • 1986 San Francisco

  • 1990 Vancouver, Canada

  • 1994 New York City

  • 1998 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2002 Sydney, Australia

  • 2006 Chicago

  • 2010 Cologne, Germany

  • 2014 Cleveland, Ohio

  • 2018 Paris, France


And we are no strangers to cameras, as we have also been honored with television appearances on:

  • 2010 NBC’s America’s Got Talent: Season 5 as a Top 48 contender

  • 2011 USA Network’s WWE Tough Enough

  • 2011 ABC’s Good Morning America as the opening act for Britney Spears


Each year, across various communities, CHEER SF selects a number of key charitable nonprofit organizations to engage as our Beneficiaries for that operating year. These Beneficiaries become the designated recipients of our fundraising successes, and we award each a grant at the close of our fiscal year in June. The amount of each grant ranges from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on each Beneficiary’s needs and the quality of its year-long partnership with CHEER SF.


Become a Beneficiary

Could your charitable nonprofit organization benefit from CHEER SF’s tireless fundraising efforts? Does your 501(c)(3) organization align well with our mission to support individuals and families coping with life-challenging conditions? If you answered “Yes” to the above, then you might wish to consider partnering with us as our Beneficiary. For more details, send an introductory message throught the General Info button below.


Past Beneficiaries

Click here to visit our Foundation page for a list of our past Beneficiaries.

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The CHEER For Life Foundation, Inc., is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization doing business as CHEER San Francisco.


Established in 2004, the CFL Foundation enabled CHEER SF to become a standalone organization following many years as a fiscally-sponsored program of San Francisco’s Jon Sims Center for the Arts. Since our inception as a nonprofit, we have raised and charitably donated more than $350,000 locally, nationally, and internationally to dozens of fellow nonprofit agencies around the globe that provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS, Breast Cancer, and other life-challenging conditions.


Our Board of Directors strives to advance the mission of the CFL Foundation by increasing our level of charitable contributions each year. These efforts include the management and support of our many volunteers whose performances and fundraising activities enhance and touch the lives of thousands of individuals in communities around the world.

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CHEER San Francisco is a proud founding Member Team of the Pride Cheerleading Association (PCA). The Pride Cheerleading Association (PCA) is an affiliation of Member Teams united by a common philanthropic mission: to support people living with life-challenging conditions in the LGBTQ community and beyond. Conceived in 2004 from the natural evolution of community-based, charitable cheerleading, PCA is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

PCA exists to unite, support, and develop charitable cheerleading teams worldwide. The PCA Board of Directors offers representation to each Member Team and acts as a support network to share resources, experiences, and innovations among established and developing LGBTQ community-based cheerleading teams. PCA also serves as an association under which all such cheer teams may assemble during the quadrennial Gay Games (international LGBTQ athletic and cultural event) and other multi-team performance and fundraising events.

CHEER SF welcomes other forming and active PCA teams to be linked to our site. We look forward to hearing from you.

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