This weekend in Philadelphia a special set of gymnastics meets take place to “celebrate the lives of those touched by breast and ovarian cancers.” The Pink Invitational was started in 2009 by Coach Sue Weldon as a fundraising and outreach event with the support and partnership of her gym AJS Pancott Gymnastics. Weldon, diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, had found resources lacking when she sought out complimentary therapies to her treatment.
100% of the net proceeds from the meet go directly to caring for the physical and emotional needs of breast and ovarian cancer patients in the area and the gymnastics community Unite for HER, a nonprofit organization. Unite for HER “was created to bridge the gap for breast and ovarian cancer patients, funding and delivering complementary therapies to women affected by breast cancer at no personal cost.” The meet is the organization’ s largest fundraising event.
The event consists of both an NCAA college meet taking place Friday February 21, as well as meets involving USAG levels from Level 2 to Level 10 and XCEL. The college meet will bring together Temple, West Chester, Ursinus, Southern Connecticut State, and Illinois State. The first four teams are frequent opponents, but Illinois State is a rare visitor to the East Coast.
In addition to the action on the floor, this year celebrated gymnast Katelyn Ohashi and former UCLA Coach Valorie Kondos Field will be attendance for fans to meet on Friday and Saturday.
Meet organizers report that over 3,500 gymnasts participate in the various meets each year which draw 15,000 spectators. The meet itself will take place at the Philadelphia Convention Center and more information on attending and how to help is available at https://uniteforher.org/events/pink/