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Young Gymnasts Use Their Athletic Abilities to Raise Money for Kids

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Forty gymnasts from throughout Monroe County and beyond gathered last week for a cartwheel-a-thon to benefit Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. Donations are still being collected so a final tally isn't available, but organizers believe they've raised about $1,000 for the Rochester region's only children's hospital. The fund-raiser was held at Victors Gymnastics & Cheerleading Training Center, 3800 Dewey Ave., Greece. The center is part of an organization called USAG, a national gymnastics association that encourages its affiliates to raise money for Children's Miracle Network, a group of more than 170 children's hospitals - including Golisano Children's Hospital - throughout the United States and Canada. The gymnasts raised the money by soliciting flat-rate contributions for participating, or a fixed-rate donation for each cartwheel they did. Members of the USAG affiliate that collected the most pledges has the opportunity to attend a free gymnastics clinic, says gym owner Mary Kay Mordenga. Golisano Children's Hospital is the region's only hospital devoted solely to caring for ill and injured children. It is in the midst of its first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, a $30-million effort that will allow the hospital to improve its services. The hospital's top priority is building a state-of-the-art Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

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