INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 24, 2008 – Gymnastics clubs across the country have raised more than $1 million for Children’s Miracle Network since USA Gymnastics first partnered with Children’s Miracle Network in 2001. Gym clubs and their members raised a record $201,203 in 2008 as part of their celebrations for National Gymnastics Day through the Tyson Fitness Challenge, a joint initiative of USA Gymnastics and Tyson Foods that helps today’s kids get more physically fit through fun activities and raises money to help kids who are fighting illness at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around the country.
“It is heart-warming to see kids from our clubs make such an incredible effort for other young people who really need help,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Children’s Miracle Network is a fantastic organization that helps save the lives of kids every day. USA Gymnastics appreciates everything the gymnastics community has done to make this a success and is proud to have achieved this milestone in partnership with Tyson Foods.”
“Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than $3.4 billion for children’s hospitals over the past 25 years, thanks to partners like USA Gymnastics,” said Scott Burt, president and CEO, Children’s Miracle Network. “What is especially impressive about this partnership is that most of the money is raised by talented young gymnasts. We appreciate their passion for both their sport and this important cause.”
“Congratulations and thank you to all of the clubs and gymnasts who participated in the Tyson Fitness Challenge and gave back to the community by raising money,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president of Tyson Foods. “We look forward to hosting the top fundraisers at the 2009 Tyson American Cup.”
In 2007, USA Gymnastics set its goal to have the accumulated total of donations to Children’s Miracle Network surpass the $1 million mark by the end of 2008. This year’s donation of $201,203 is the most ever raised annually by the gym club community for Children’s Miracle Network.
The three clubs and three individuals who raised the most money for Children’s Miracle Network in 2008 are listed below.
1. Gymnastics World, Broadview Heights, Ohio, $32,000, taking its six-year total to $122,951
2. Massachusetts Gymnastics Center, Boston, Mass., $30,066
3. John Macready’s and John Roethlisberger’s Flip Fest of Lake Frances, Tenn., $14,000
1. Emma Timblin, Northern Elite, Flanders, N.J., $4,425
2. Michelle Moock, Gymnastics World, Broadview Heights, Ohio, $4,000
3. Mary Kate Cacchione, Northern Elite, Flanders, N.J., $3,700
Four other individuals raised more than $2,500: Lauren Wise, Sonshine Academy, Conway, Ark., $3,228; Lauren Briskey, The Flip Zone, Plainfield, Ind., $3,174; Andrew Wise, Sonshine Academy, Conway, Ark., $2,925; and Abby Vienneaue, Gymnastics World, Broadview Heights, Ohio, $2,851.
Established in 1999, National Gymnastics Day is a platform to showcase the many benefits of gymnastics, as well as promote the ideals of physical fitness and community service nationwide. USA Gymnastics and its gym clubs began raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network through National Gymnastics Day in 2001, and the Tyson Fitness Challenge became the fundraising platform in 2006.
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 Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals. Countless individuals, 90 organizations and 400 media partners unite with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children’s Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year. To learn more go to ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org.
About Tyson Foods, Inc.
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.
Gymnastics World raised the most money of any club in 2008