United States Synchronized Swimming Foundation
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|2011 USAS Convention Inspires Record Donations
Activities at the 2011 USAS convention inspired record donations for any single event since the kick-off of the
Founders Society campaign in 2000.
The planned Lip-synch competition began at the Society's annual dinner. This year the dinner was held while cruising
the St Johns River on board the paddle-wheeler "Annabelle Lee". After dinner three teams of costumed athletes
performed their choreographed routines to their favorite '80's music.
Representing the West and South Zones, the Double Rainbows were Denise
Chadwick, Aine Gallahue, Cora Kohn, and Rachel Rosolowski. Sugar, Honey,
Iced Tea from Florida was made up of Grace Downey, Anna Foster, Carrie
Hartnett, and Carolyne Vasconcellos. The East Zone was represented by the
EZ5: Emma Baranski, Amanda Heathcote, Mina Shah, Michaela Vommoro,
and Jennifer Wilczynski
Voting commenced for the favorite teams (with each vote costing $1)! Votes
were taken throughout Friday. The top vote-getter chose their order of
appearance for the Finals during the Board of Governors meeting Friday
A late petition was presented after the athletes had completed their
routines. A group of coaches filed the petition based on their claim that
they are "old and [had] forgotten to enter." Past-president Betty Hazle
approved the petition. Competing in the Exhibitionist category,
Bootylicious performed to "Baby Got Back". According to a source
speaking on condition of anonymity, the coaches, Charlotte Davis, Lori
Eaton, Lacey Ethier, and Sue Nesbitt, are suspected of no longer
remembering the '80's, as their music was not even from that decade.
Friday's performances were followed by an additional round of voting, which concluded Saturday noon. By raising
nearly $3000, the winning routine, Double Rainbow, received glittered "Champion" sailor caps from USSS President,
In total the Lip-synch competition inspired and excited the synchro community to donate $8000 to the Founders
The East Zone surprised the crowd on Saturday morning with an electric scooter race around and through the meeting
room for the Board of Governors. Racers were Carol Valles and Mary Ellen Wiegand on their highly customized "rides".
The spectators were encouraged to "bet" on their favorite racer, while the call was made by Joanne Wright. It was
close the checkered flag went to Carol Valles.
The bets poured in during the event. Some bets were stuffed into the drivers' clothes by enthusiastic fans as they
circled the track. Unlike horse-racing the bettors received no cash, leaving the Founders Society the big winner with
more than $2000 in donations.
The giving spirit turned out to be contagious. Several significant individual donations were received during or
immediately following the convention.
Jeanette Chase donated $2000 to the "Building America's Teams" fund in honor of Joy Cushman. Cheryl Cook also
honored Joy with a donation of $500.
Pauline Wesner Pieroni, a member of the first official national championship team donated $1000 to the Founders
Society. Pauline and two of her teammates attended the Founders Society dinner and were introduced at the Board of
Governors meeting Friday night.
Dawn Bean was instrumental in making the arrangements to have the 1946 Champions attend the events. She added
an exclamation point to her work on the history of the sport with a Founders Society pledge of $5000 of her own.
In total the generosity of the Synchronized Swimming community contributed a record-setting $13,000 to the
Foundation in one weekend!
Additional details and photos are available on the Dinner 2011 page.