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Shilese's Olympic Dream

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Over the past weekend Shilese Jones attended the first National Team Training Camp in 2017 where she finished 3rd among the juniors. The training camp was held at the USA Gymnastics National Training center north of Houston, Texas where participation is by invitation only and only the top gymnasts attend.

My name is David Holcomb and I am the owner of Buckeye Gymnastics in Westerville, Ohio. I am writing concerning Shilese Jones who is a very special athlete at Buckeye. Shilese trains very hard and is quite accomplished but she needs help to achieve her Olympic dream and go as far as her talent and hard work will take her.

You see her father requires dialysis three days a week and he on the transplant list at The Ohio State University Medical Center for a new kidney and pancreas.

Her father, Sylvester Jones, is raising Shilese and her sister almost as a single parent. He is a painter by profession and has always operated his own crew and has done well enough to support both girl's dreams and aspirations. But within the past year his health has deteriorated and he now finds himself unable to work and there is no family nearby to help out with living expenses.

Shilese is well known to gymnastics fans. She competed in the P&G National Gymnastics Championships the past three years and this year she finished 3rd on floor and vault in the junior division on her way to a 7th place finish in the all around. Shilese has been attending National Team Training Camps in Huntsville, Texas for over a year and a half first under the direction of Marta Karolyi and now under the guidance Valeri Liukin. She is hoping to being named to the USA National Team to represent the United States in international competitions along with her teammate and current USA National Team memer, Shania Adams.

But Shilese's future in gymnastics will come to an end if she cannot afford to continue. Buckeye Gymnastics has Shilese on scholarship but even so the financial burden of Shilese's travel (those trips to Texas are not cheap) and living expenses are mounting.

We have reached out to our gym families and donations are coming in (and are matched by Buckeye) but they are not enough to support three people and provide for Shilese's future in gymnastics.

This gofundme appeal is the second one I have made. The first was succesful with nearly $5,000 raised for Shilese and her family. This should be an update to that appeal but an update requires verification utilizing the recipient's phone number. But this was not possible as Sylvestor was forced to establish a new phone number some time back. 

I am asking for your help to keep Shilese in the sport that she loves. It is her dream that keeps Sylvester and the rest of the family going. If we can keep them afloat until Sylvester gets his new kidney and pancreas and is able to work again, then Buckeye Gymnastics will do its part in developing the talent that will allow her to compete for a spot on the Team USA in 2020 in Japan.

Thank you for your consideration and support for this wonderful young lady. It is not every day that you can assist such a deserving family and help such a beautiful and talented athlete achieve such a great, big, audacious dream.

Organizer and beneficiary

David Holcomb
Westerville, OH
Sylvester Jones

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