Bridget Sloan
© FIG Photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Sept. 12, 2008 – The Tyson Fitness Challenge cartwheel-a-thon scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 13, at Riley Hospital for Children has been cancelled due to inclement weather. 2008 Olympic silver-medalist Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., will still celebrate National Gymnastics Day by signing autographs from 12-1 p.m. at Riley’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Reunion. The reunion will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, on the Union Lawn directly across from the Riley Outpatient Center.

The three Indianapolis-area clubs scheduled to participate in the cartwheel-a-thon will hold events at a later date to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network. The three clubs are: the Flip Zone in Plainfield; Geist Sports Academy in Indianapolis; and Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy in Indianapolis. Funds raised for Children’s Miracle Network stay in the local community, which means these monies will benefit Riley Hospital for Children, which is a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

“National Gymnastics Day is a wonderful way to build awareness of gymnastics and its many benefits, as well as to raise money for a worthy cause, Children’s Miracle Network,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Physical fitness is an important part of everyone’s life, and the Tyson Fitness Challenge allows children involved in gymnastics to help other kids. We applaud the efforts of these three clubs and their members, and we hope the cartwheel-a-thon raises a lot of money to benefit Riley and the children they help all year long.

“In just seven years, the USA Gymnastics family has raised a total of $816,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, and we aim to push that past $1 million total this year.”

At the Riley NICU Reunion, more than 1,000 former Riley patients and their families will gather, reunite and share stories with NICU physicians, nurses, staff and each other. Patients range in age from 4 months to 25 years old. The afternoon will consist of lunch, games, crafts, educational sessions and lots of fun.

National Gymnastics Day is the culmination of the Tyson Fitness Challenge, a joint initiative of USA Gymnastics and Tyson Foods that has two goals: helping today’s kids get more physically fit through fun activities; and raising money for Children’s Miracle Network to help kids who are fighting illnesses. This year’s goal is to have the accumulated total of donations to Children’s Miracle Network break the $1 million mark this year.

Geared toward youngsters, ages 4-16, the Tyson Fitness Challenge is not about teaching gymnastics skills, but using gymnastics to help kids become more physically fit and to learn about a well-balanced diet. The culmination of the Tyson Fitness Challenge is voluntary participation in raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network. Participants and clubs obtain pledges for achieving a set number of elements in a specified time, whether it is fitness-related skills, cartwheels, flips, etc.

About Riley NICU
The Riley NICU was the first in Indiana and established in 1970. It is recognized as one of the premier NICU’s in the nation and ranks among the top 12 according to U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 edition of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. No other Indiana hospitals neonatal intensive care programs made the national rankings.

The Riley NICU is a 79-bed unit and staffed 24 hours-a-day by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and social workers who provide the most advanced care available. Our philosophy of care is family-based, ensuring that the best care is provided in the warmest, most personal manner.

NICU survival rates have dramatically improved over the years due to improved obstetric care and prenatal diagnosis, surfactant therapy, sophisticated ventilators, ECMO, and other treatments. Much smaller infants are now included in the 50% survival rate group. In 1970 that weight was 3lbs 5 oz, and by 2005 it was 1 lb 3 oz.

About Riley Children’s Foundation
Riley Children’s Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children, Camp Riley for Youth with Physical Disabilities and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana’s only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year, families turn to Riley for care throughout the state more than 200,000 times. Children come from all 92 Indiana counties, across the nation and throughout the world. Riley Hospital’s strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine makes Riley Hospital for Children the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region. For more information, visit

About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network—the alliance of premier hospitals for children—is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. For more information on Children’s Miracle Network visit

About Tyson Foods Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. The company has approximately 104,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.