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Not too late to contribute:

Daniel Geri 09 July at 19:22Dear Friends and Supporters,The Cal Gymnastics Forever Foundation will be meeting with the Chancellor of UC Berkeley NEXT WEDNESDAY, JULY 14TH. We will be submitting our Business Plan for financial viability, including ALL your letters and pledges.PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR LETTERS AND YOUR PLEDGES NOW so that your voice will be heard. Pledges will only be collected after the University guarantees our program beyond the 2011 season.We have made it easier to submit your letters, and even designed an ONLINE auto-create letter system so all you have to do is enter your name and contact information and click a button! It will take you LESS THAN 3 MINUTES!just go to http://www.calgymnasticsforever.com/We have already received 25% of our annual operating budget and over 100 letters, but there are 1200 of us in this Facebook group alone!If you truly support Cal Gymnastics, now is the time to act.Thanks to all who have already submitted, and to all of you for your ongoing support,Sincerely,The Cal Gymnastics Forever Foundation

Tom and I just sent our letters to support Cal Men’s Gymnastics: Here’s our thoughts on the situation:

July 10, 2010

Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

200 California Hall # 1500

University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720-1500

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau,

“But one of the redeeming things about being an athlete – one of the real services we can perform – is to redefine what’s humanly possible.  We cause people to reconsider their limits, to see that what looks like a wall may really just be an obstacle in the mind”. – Lance Armstrong

The decision for Cal is simple.  Abandon a program with a rich history – probably the easy simple solution, or celebrate in 2012 a new 100 years of one of its most successful athletic programs. Cal could reverse this trend of minimizing the value of athletics and redefine what is humanly possible for a University experience.

I was a student athlete for Cal in the mid 1970’s, probably the golden era for Men’s NCAA gymnastics with well over 100 division one programs.  We were NCAA Champions in 1975, 3rd in 1974 and 1976.  I won 2 individual NCAA titles, was the USA individual All-Around champion and a 1976 Olympian. As a team we maintained one of the highest graduation rates from one of the toughest and highest rated Universities in the country. These statistics can easily be looked up. What isn’t in the record books is that we trained in Harmon Room 109, a facility so small that we couldn’t even have all the equipment set up at the same time, we would have to run down the hall into the room to vault because the room wasn’t long enough for the vaulting runway.  Even though this facility was sub-standard even then, we found a way to redefine what was humanly possible.

I take these experiences from Cal with me every day.  They give me the courage to challenge difficult situations, to serve underserved sectors of our society and have the confidence that I can be successful.  Being a student-athlete defines who I am today.Gymnastics was one of the original sports in the ancient Olympics and one of the glamour sports of the modern Olympics today.  Cal has one of the richest histories of any Universities, a perennial leader.  Please take the challenge to show the value of college athletic, redefine what is possible for University life today.

Sincerely yours,Thomas A Beach
Executive DirectorThe Non-Profit Toolbox

Cc: Sandy Barbour


July 10, 2010

Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

200 California Hall # 1500

University of California

Berkeley, CA 94720-1500

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau,

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has thepower to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” – Nelson Mandela

This is what I think of when I think of Cal Men’s Gymnastics. No it’s not the most popular sport, nor does it bring in the big bucks for the athletic department. We do live in a capitalistic environment, but should a sport be discontinued because it is not the most popular?As a graduate, I see the University of California as a melting pot, and a pillar of great traditions. Cal has a tradition of research and development for not only the moneymaking ventures; but is what it is because it is there to also support the inspired.

2012 is the 100th year of support for men’s gymnastics, a sport that has evolved through the years, and still Cal is (and always has been) a major player in the evolution of the sport. It is a proud tradition, with Dr. Frey at the forefront of the creation of what is now the USAG (United States Gymnastics) and attracting superior coaches and athletes. International Teams and individuals came to Cal to compete and train.

I met my husband at Cal, he was on the team, and represented the United States (and Cal) in the 1976 Olympic Games. The facility was not “cutting edge” but the coaching was, and the team proved it in 1975 when they won the NCAA’s when there were many teams competing for the honor.I am sure that what we see going on with the Cal Men’s Gymnastics Team is a microcosm of what is happening to many sports all across the US, as cities, counties, and states grapple with strained resources, and budget problems.

What should a college or university provide to the community, the students? Much can be said about how the sport provided various individuals with an avenue to success, and there are many of those stories.

I state my appeal for Cal to continue to support Men’s gymnastics and leave you with two last statements:We currently live outside of Boston, where college traditions thrive. The Ivy League Colleges with their reputation of honor and tradition. I think Cal can be like them, where sport is respected, and very much a part of their legacy.

My adult daughter is currently taking classes at Cal; she recently visited Harmon Gym, and was proud to see that Cal had a representation of the gymnastics tradition that her father was a part of for all to see.

Sincerely yours,

Reiko Beach
The Non-Profit Toolboxreiko@thetoolboxinc.comcc: Sandy Barbour

Cal Men’s Gymnastics

The Men’s Gymnastics program at University of California, Berkeley is in danger of loosing funding and support of the Athletic Department. As we are alumni of CAL, and Tom (’76 Olympian) benefited greatly from the program there, we would like to ask your support for this program, and all Men’s NCAA programs.  You can help by visiting the site: Cal Gymnastics Forever, and writing a letter of support. calmensgymnastics@gmail.com; Join the Facebook group (1200+ “fans”). And if you are so inclined, you can donate here.Here are some of the articles circulating the web regarding the situation:

USA Project 2012 – Term 2

Begins July 20thRegister now!

Term 1 of USA Project 2012 has been awesome so far, thank you to everyone who has joined us! Term 2 begins July 20th and there is still space available. Term 2 will feature presentations from Tony Retrosi, Tammy Biggs, Mary Lee Tracy, Russell Warfield, and Mas Watanabe. Coaches will learn cutting edge information from the best clinicians in our country! Sessions include 45 minutes of lecture and 15 minutes of question and answer, using live lecture, video, power point, and of course your questions, all on your computer. Watch it live or watch the recording from anywhere you’d like.

Visit www.usaproject2012.com for more information and registration.

Kris Robinson

headerkmr.jpg From the computer of Kris Merlo Robinson, “The Posture Lady,” choreographer and physical therapist… while she is receiving medical treatment in Germany:

Kris was diagnosed with breast cancer on December 23rd, 2009.  She had a routine mammogram that looked fine but then two ultrasounds with the second showing a suspect spot.  A biopsy confirmed the cancer and a MRI and a PET scan showed an 8×3 cm mass.  She handled the situation well and researched her disease extensively.  The type of breast cancer was invasive lobular carcinoma, HER2 negative, 89% estrogen receptor positive, grade 2, stage II B.  On January 29th, she had a bilateral mastectomy, with all the lymph nodes in the left armpit removed, 4/14 cancerous.  No other organs have metastases and everything seems clear, but doctors fear the unknown spread.
Instead of 6 months of the recommended American chemo. and 7 weeks of daily radiation, Kris decided instead to seek out immunobiological treatment in Germany at the Hufeland Klinik for 6 weeks. Treatment is gentle and immune system-based and the philosophy is positive and interesting, treating the mind, body and spirit.  The German Klinik physicians are extremely positive and the patients are inspirational. 
The stay and treatment in Germany is expensive and insurance may or may not cover part of it.  The plan also involves ongoing prevention of the spread of cancer by receiving regular fever therapies in Germany (not available in the US) and other immune system builders.  Kris plans on starting gymnastics choreography in mid-June after a restful month of May and one more chest surgery.
Any amount of money that you are able to donate to her family of 9 would be greatly appreciated.  Kris has 5 kids and 2 step-daughters.  Jeff, her husband, still works at Disney as a stuntman and coaches gymnastics after work to try to make ends meet.  They added a “nanny” for their 5 year-old boy and twin 2 year-old boys while Kris had surgery and went through recovery and while she is in Germany for the 6 week stay.Please consider a donation to Kris for direct help with medical expenses by sending a check to the following:
Kris Merlo Robinson
8815 Conroy Windermere Rd      
Orlando, Florida  32835
Kris is very positive about her treatment and recovery and has also set-up a trust named “Treasure Chest for Health” in which gymnasts with mothers going through a life-threatening illness can get help with choreography needs and kids can be educated on posture, muscle balance, healthy lifestyle, breast health and holistic care.  You can also make a donation to “Treasure Chest for Health” at 8815 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, Florida 32835 in order to kick-off her trust fund for others.
Thank you very much for your help and support!

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