CRANFORD, NJ – The Cranford Jaycees presented a check for $5,200 to the Friends of CHS Gymnastics Team, to help in the purchase of a new spring floor for the high-school gymnastics team.

The check represented two fundraising events hosted by the Jaycees in the month of June, the annual Pride of Cranford Softball Tournament that raised $1,500 and the annual Jaycees Golf Outing which raised $3,700.

On hand were Brian Bendert, Sean Gorman, Brian Wing and Kevin Cuminsky of the Jaycees who presented the check to CHS gymnastics head coach Michele Hulse and Friends of CHS Gymnastics president Christine Larrabee.

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“We are incredibly grateful to the Jaycees for their support, this is a huge contribution, it would not have happened without their support” said Hulse.

The Jaycees host fundraising events every year and have donated the proceeds to many organizations throughout Cranford.  Hulse reached out to Wing and Bendert and informed them of the need for updated, safer equipment for the girls.

With the proceeds from the softball game earmarked for the gymnastics team, Bendert and Gorman decided the team would also benefit from the annual golf outing. “Recognizing the health and safety concerns for these young athletes, it was a very easy decision to make to support the Friends of CHS Gymnastics and the Cranford High School gymnastics team,” said Gorman.

A big draw at the golf outing was the “Beat-the-Pro” challenge hole, which was manned by Hulse and Larrabee who encouraged the golfers to help. At $20 a shot, the hole raised and extra $800.

“With unbelievable support from the community as a whole, it was the Cranford Jaycees who took an avid interest in this mission and helped the FCHSG raise the last crucial funds, as well as extra money that will go towards additional safety equipment needed for the team.  They were by far the largest donors and supporters of the cause, and the FCHSG could not have been so incredibly successful in their fundraising efforts without the Jaycees,” said Larrabee.

In addition to the Jaycees contribution, the Friends of CHS Gymnastics held fundraisers throughout the year to combine to earn the more than $18,000 for the floor and its upkeep including: the my event site webpage, a Flapjack Pancake Breakfast, two apparel sales, canning at the Rustic Mill, a mum plant sale, a poinsettia sale and the girls on the team cleaned the pit at Surgent’s Gymnastics for a donation.

The new spring floor is 42’ x 42’ in Cougar Blue and Gold and is set to arrive in early August, in time for the gymnastics team to begin its season on Aug 24. The team will host the Cougar Invitational on Thursday, October 6. 

“I am so excited my girls will be able to practice and compete on a safe floor,” said Hulse.

Larrabee said, “Our hope is that with the addition of the spring floor, this annual event will attract more schools to participate and the intention is for the FCHSG to turn this into not only an incredible evening of competitive gymnastics, but a fundraising opportunity for the team.”

“The Cranford Jaycees are glad to be able to support the Friends of CHS Gymnastics and be able to help them reach their fundraising goal that will have an immediate impact on the high-school gymnastics program. We look forward to seeing their new spring floor,” said Gorman.

According to Larabee, The Friends of CHS Gymnastics (FCHSG) officially formed in January as a non-profit hoping to spread the word about the need for safer equipment for high school gymnastics teams, and specifically to raise money for the CHS gymnastics team to get this necessary equipment – a spring floor costing about $18,000.  With the tireless efforts of just 10 families, two dedicated coaches and most importantly, the girls on the team, the FCHSG was able to meet and even exceed their fundraising goals.

For more information on the Cranford Jaycees visit www.cranfordjaycees.org.

Follow the Friends of CHS Gymnastics on Facebook.