Robert R. Cawley, D.O.
Dover, NH 03802
Guest Post by Rae Ann Chrane, Spaulding High School Gymnastics Coach and member of the Seacoast Cancer 5K Committee
Spaulding High School Gymnastics held its fifth annual Stick it to Cancer Pink Gymnastics meet December 30 and raised $425 for the Seacoast Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. In the five year history of hosting this meet the team has raised close to $2,000 for local patients with breast cancer. Teams attending the meet this year included local rivals Dover and Somersworth as well as Londonderry, Bishop Guertin, Milford and Souhegan. Many of the visiting teams show their support of our Pink theme by sporting pink leotards, socks, hair bows or t-shirts. Our Gymnasts really love the chance to step away from their usual school colors and go Pink for the Cause.
The funds we raise come from the sale of our Stick it to Cancer T-shirts and raffle prizes. Every school attending the meet is listed on the back of the shirt and we create new shirt designs each year. Our pink-themed gift baskets have become a sought after item at these meets as well. We were also fortunate to have donations of gift cards from Windjammers and Granite Steak and Grill in Rochester, Deary’s Gymnastics Supply, as well as season tickets to UNH Gymnastics. We also thank Tri- Star Gymnastics in Dover for hosting this meet for the past five years.
It is a tradition as we start the meet and announce the competing teams to read the poem “What Cancer Cannot Do” attributed to Dr. Robert Lynn to honor those in treatment currently and celebrate Pink survivors. Many girls in our team know someone who has battled Breast Cancer so the reading of the poem is moving for the group.
We added some new traditions this year by having our team manager create a poster with facts about breast cancer and by having one of our freshman sing the national anthem. We also have pamphlets available about the importance of going for mammograms that can be picked up from the raffle table. While the primary focus of the day is competing in a HS Gymnastics meet we hope all the gymnasts leave knowing a little more about this cause, are more open to talk about breast cancer and are better able to support someone they know facing the disease.