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Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation Celebrate its 25th Anniversary Benefit in NYC, Honoring Sports Executive & Former Gymnast Jené Elzie and Former NBA Champion Emeka Okafor

Posted April 17, 2022 · Nicholas & Lence Communications

 Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, celebrated its 25th Anniversary Celebration “Flipping Forward” last night, by honoring sports executive and former gymnast Jené Elzie and former NBA and University of Connecticut great Emeka Okafor.

Held at One Vanderbilt in New York City and hosted by Greenberg Traurig and NYC Co-Chairman Ed Wallace, the evening was emceed by Sportscaster Ryan Field with attendees including Council Member Gale Brewer, Former New York State Representative Mark Weprin, WHGF Chairman Christopher Harrison, and others.

The program included a “Parade of Champions” many of whom have supported WHGF since its inception and are Olympic medalists and award-winning athletes. Athletes included Gymnast and Olympic Coach Abie Grossfeld; Gymnast Bill Hladik; Gymnast and Two-Time Member of the U.S. Olympic Team Dominick Miniccuci; U.S. National Wrestler Julieta Okot; Gymnast and Three-Time National Team Member Alexis Page; Two-Time Olympic Fencing Champion Nzingha Prescod; Decorated National Gymnast McKenzie Ryan; First African-American NFL Female Coach Collette Smith; Two-Time Olympic Figure Skater Jo Jo Starbuck; Olympic Gymnast Rose Voisk; Six-Time Olympic Bronze Medalist in Fencing Peter Westbrook; and World Champion & National Gymnastics Team Member Roger Walker.

As part of the fundraising efforts, the WHGF young athletes conducted a “flip-a-thon,” where they flipped as many times as possible and got to over 100.

Founded in 1996, Wendy Hilliard started the Foundation in Harlem and expanded to her hometown in Detroit in 2016. Since its inception, WHGF has provided FREE and low-cost gymnastics to underserved communities, serving nearly 25,000 urban youth to date.

Wendy is the first Black athlete to represent the U.S. in an international competition in rhythmic gymnastics and competed in three World Championships. In 2008, she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.


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