Glastonbury gymnasts score big in fight against breast cancer

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GLASTONBURY-- A gymnastics team from Glastonbury has put on quite the routine, all in the name of charity.

The girls from New England Gymnastics Express not only have returned from the Pink Invitational, a national competition in Philadelphia, with a number of medals, but they took top honors in fundraising as well.

"We raised $28,000 and we're pretty proud,'' said Lauren Miller an 11-year-old gymnast on the team.

The funds raised are going to Unite for Her, a breast cancer wellness charity.

"The kids feel really good about giving and it's more than just competing in gymnastics,'' said Maureen Chagnon, the owner of New England Gymnastics Express and Gymnastics Express Too.

The team had extra incentive to raise money; in May of 2015 the co-owner of their gym, Laurie Scanlon, died of breast cancer.

After landing an acrobatic vault jump, gymnast Alissa Bonsall, a 17-year-old junior at Haddam-Killingly High, said of her team's charity efforts, "It makes me feel great and the rest of the team as well that we were able to raise money for women like Laurie."

And while they did return from Philadelphia with their share of medals, the team states they brought in the largest fundraising  total out of more than 80 teams that competed in the Pink Invitational competition.

Chagnon added, "They won in a different way, not just winning trophies and medals."

A portion of team NEGX's charity dollars will be donated to Saint Francis Hospital's Cancer Care Center.