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The City Journals

Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez to visit South Jordan’s Black Diamond Gym

Jul 25, 2017 05:23PM ● By Billy Swartzfager

Black Diamond gymnasts (Kelle Land/Black Diamond Gymnastics)

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]
Olympic Gold Medal gymnast and “Dancing with the Stars” winner Laurie Hernandez will be visiting Black Diamond Gymnastics and Sports Center in South Jordan on Sept 30. Her visit will mark the culmination of a months-long fundraiser Black Diamond’s gymnasts have been working on. All proceeds raised by Black Diamond will be donated to Primary Children’s Hospital.
Participants at the gym began raising money in May hoping to bring in more than $100,000. The hospital performed more than $16 million in charity care for children in 2016 alone. The decision to go with Primary Children’s was an easy one for Black Diamond.
“Every family that is part of Black Diamond has children, and almost all of them have personal experience or know someone who has had to use Primary Children’s services,” said Kelle Land, Black Diamond’s event coordinator.
Last year, Black Diamond ran a similar fundraiser, though it used that money to buy new equipment for the gym. Olympian Jordyn Wieber appeared at the gym to cap off 2016’s campaign. The final event in September will be similar to what occurred last year, with Hernandez paying the gym a visit instead of Wieber.
Those raising funds have multiple opportunities to earn special prizes involving Hernandez as well.  There will be private clinics coached by the Olympian. Black Diamond gymnasts raising a minimum of $125 will be able to attend the hour long opportunity, while the top-30 fundraisers will be able to participate in an additional clinic just for them. Everyone raising $250 will receive an autograph, be able to pose for picture and attend a question-and-answer session with Hernandez. After the Olympian answers questions, there will be a lunch where the top-10fundraisers will get to sit at Hernandez’s table.
Black Diamond is working with Lucas Sports, which works with world-class athletes to help raise funds for community sports. The all-time record for fundraising with Lucas Sports is $108,000, so Black Diamond hopes to bring in at least $109,000 with an ultimate goal of $150,000.
The organization that holds the record did so with 130 participants. Black Diamond’s goal is to have all of their 187 participants from both South Jordan and Park City take part in raising money for the cause. At the time the interview was conducted, there were 114 young gymnasts registered on the fundraising website, 75 of whom had already solicited contributions.
The gymnasts are highly motivated by the Hernandez’s coming visit. And, there are several weekly contests throughout the ordeal to keep them inspired. Top fundraisers each week can earn various prizes like being able to take selfies with Hernandez or being photobombed by the Gold Medalist.
The young gymnasts are grateful for the opportunity to learn from Hernandez but are more grateful that the privilege is something they are even able to enjoy. According to Land, the fundraiser has helped to raise awareness as well as money.
“This has shown these kids that there are children in the world who never get the opportunity to participate in sports due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances,” Land said, “It has taught them about true struggles.”
According to Land, the gymnasts have also learned a lot about hard work, community responsibility and what it means to be a humanitarian. Everyone involved is proud to have contributed to helping children at Primary Children’s, and being excited to meet Laurie Hernandez is icing on the cake.