Donte's National Championships trip

We have all heard that it takes a village to raise extraordinary people. My name is Dionne McKinney and I would like to tell you a story about my son who happens to be one of these extraordinary people. His name is Donte'.

In 2009 Donte' was enrolled in gymnastics as a way of keeping him busy. But I realized soon thereafter that I had something very special on my hands. Gymnastics is an incredible sport that requires 10% more discipline, determination, and dedication than you think you’re capable of giving. It requires that you learn to be willing to fail, it asks you to get back up and try again, and it rewards you for your endless struggles when you finally succeed. At the end of the previous season Donte' fractured his second and third metacarpal in his hand and this season faced a series of falls and routines that missed the mark, but also pulled through with some inspirational successes when it mattered most.

On April 8th 2017 Donte' fell on four out of six events at the Region 8 Championship in Cartersville, GA.  A failure, one might think. but not quite. He placed second in the region as a level 10 and qualified himself to compete in the Elite Division during the 2017 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships held in Kissimmee, FL in May.

The entire season was a buildup to JO Nationals where Donte' had the best competition of his career. He placed 6th in the nation and was one of 22 other elite gymnasts in the 15 - 16 year old age group who qualified to participate at the 2017 P&G Championships held in Anaheim, CA in August. It is at this meet where the best of the best compete and where Donte' will be given the chance to earn his place on the US National Gymnastics Team. Coming up sooner, however, Donte' was invited to participate in the Elite training camp for region 8 in Roswell, GA and to compete at the National Qualifier at the Olympic Training Center in July, which is in Colorado.

Here is where we need your help. These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Donte'. He is becoming a very well-known and respectable young man who ranks among the top rated junior athletes in the United States. He commutes an hour each way to practice 5 days a week and dedicates 3.5 hours every single night to the constant struggle and reward that is the sport of gymnastics while still keeping up with his schoolwork.

Donte' is determined to make the JO National Team, but we need your help to get him there. Up to this point we have not been able to elicit scholarship or funding from USAG or other organizations and we are asking for help from our community in order to give Donte' the chance to earn his place on the team. Since he is the only boy going from his gym, we have to cover flights to Georgia, Colorado, and California for both him and his Coach along with other meet fees, hotels, and expenses for several weeks worth of travel. Since we already struggle to keep up with Donte’s 17.5 hours of weekly practice and meet fees all season long, we are running too thin to make this happen by ourselves and we need the help of our community, friends, and family. Please help us raise the money to send Donte to these three championship events this summer and know you’ve helped give an incredible person and athlete a chance that he may not have been given otherwise. Thank you so much for your donations and support.  

If you choose to make a donation in another form rather than going through gofundme, please send me an email. Donte' could also use frequent flyer miles or hotel rewards. 

Here is a link to one of the events Donte will be competing in this summer.

Below is a link for an article in the local paper and one for a news segment Donte's in.


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DionneandMatt McKinney 
Cameron, NC
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