Tyson Fitness Challenge
© USA Gymnastics

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Dec. 4, 2007—Gym clubs across the country raised more than $165,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, the most ever raised annually for Children’s Miracle Network since 2001. This brings the community’s total contributions for seven years to nearly $811,000. Gymnastics clubs and their members raise money as part of their celebrations for National Gymnastics Day through the Tyson Fitness Challenge, a joint initiative of USA Gymnastics and Tyson Foods that not only helps today’s kids get more physically fit through fun activities, but also raises money to help kids who are fighting illnesses through Children’s Miracle Network.


“This year, our clubs increased our annual support by $30,000, which is a 22 percent increase,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We could not be more proud of our membership, and again, we have demonstrated what the gymnastics community can achieve by working together. To raise nearly $811,000 in just seven years is outstanding, especially when you know the funds are helping children in the communities of those clubs.  Our goal is to generate a total of $1 million in giving to the Children’s Miracle Network by this time next year.”


Gymnastics World in Broadview Heights, Ohio, raised $25,505, the most of any club this year. For its efforts, Gymnastics World and its owners, Ron and Joan Ganim, receive the grand prize of an AAI vault table. Second place went to John Macready and John Roethlisbergers Flip Fest, a summer gymnastics camp in Crossville, Tenn., that raised $10,000 and receives an AAI vault board. Placing third by raising $7,342.75 was Gedderts Twistars USA in Dimondale, Mich. The club and its owners, John and Kathryn Geddert, receive an AAI folding mat. The top-three clubs also receive Tyson coupons and a one-year USA Gymnastics club membership. Also of note, Region 6 raised $8,200 in an auction held in conjunction with its Regional Congress.


Andrew Wise from Sonshine Academy in Conway, Ark., raised the most money by an individual for the second straight year. Wise, who raised $3,707 this year, will be featured on a USA Gymnastics promotional poster in 2008. Michelle Moock of Gymnastics World in Broadview Heights, Ohio, finished second with $3,403, and Lauren Briskey from the Flip Zone in Plainfield, Ind., was third at $1,550. Wise, Moock and Briskey each receive a trip for two to the 2008 Tyson American Cup in New York City, which includes competition tickets, pre-event VIP hospitality passes and a one-night stay in the USA Gymnastics host hotel.


“Congratulations and thank you to all of the clubs and gymnasts who participated in the Tyson Fitness Challenge and raised a record total amount this year for this worthy cause,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president of consumer products at Tyson. “We are looking forward to hosting the three young gymnasts who raised nearly $9,000 between them at the Tyson American Cup next year.”


Established in 1999, National Gymnastics Day showcases the many benefits of gymnastics, as well as promotes the ideals of physical fitness and community service nationwide. Since 2001, USA Gymnastics and its gym clubs across the country have raised nearly $811,000 for Children’s Miracle Network through a variety of activities. In February, USA Gymnastics announced its goal to raise that total to $1 million by the end of 2008.


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, as well as learn about a well-ba