Unite for HER announced the recipients of its 2011 Gymnasts Unite Grants. The program was created to provide financial support to USA Gymnastics women’s artistic gymnasts who have an immediate family member affected by breast cancer. This year, Unite for HER increased its grant funding to provide 11 grants, including the Talya Vexler Gymnasts Unite Grant financed by Suzanne Yoculan. However, in an exciting conclusion to the grant review process, an anonymous donor generously matched the Talya Vexler grant allowing them to extend a 12th award.

The gymnasts selected to receive a $2,000 grant are: Amanda Kirkpatrick (Woods Gymnastics), Breahna Wiczkowski (Prestige Gymnastics, Pa.), Elora and Eilish Matthews (Show Me Gymnastics), Riley-Madison Weinberg (Hot Shots), Ashanti McGruder (Miss Kim’s Gymnastics), Rachel Smith (Anderson Gymnastics), Ellie Wiersma (Hill’s Gymnastics), Kaleigh Carlone (Gedderts Twistars), Doniele Volopich (Prestige Gymnastics), and Grace Bardes (Gymstars Gymnastics). The recipient of the$1,000 Talya Vexler Gymnasts Unite Grant is Juliana Hoolihan of Columbia Gymnastics, and the matching grant recipient is Allison Hoelker of Bright Stars Gymnastics.

Unite for HER outreach programs and initiatives, such as the grants, are made possible by funds raised through the Pink Invitational~Gymnasts Unite hosted by AJS Pancott Gymnastics NTC. The three-day event features gymnastics competition, healthy lifestyle education, and breast cancer awareness resources. Unite for HER, a non-profit organization, appreciates the tremendous support the gymnastics community has shown for the Pink Invitational the last three years. All women gymnasts who have a family member diagnosed with breast cancer are encouraged tovisit the website, www.uniteforher.org, in August for information regarding the 2012 Gymnasts Unite Grants.

About Unite for HER: Unite for HER is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by Sue Weldon, breast cancer survivor. As a survivor, she knows the struggles and challenges of facing the disease and is dedicated to supporting women with breast cancer. The organization has developed four areas of outreach that are funded by private donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraising events. Each was designed to fulfill the organization’s mission to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls by supporting and providing breast cancer programs and initiatives that educate, empower and restore.


Photos from the 2010 Pink Invitational~Gymnasts Unite competition held in Downingtown, Pa.