Gymnastics Competition Raises Nearly $30K for Travis Mills Foundation

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2024

U.S. Army SSG Travis Mills Addresses Gymnasts; Seniors Receive Mills’s latest book, “Bounce Back” 

AUGUSTA, MAINE – The 7th annual Never Give Up, Never Quit Gymnastics Invitational held Jan. 27 at the Augusta Armory was the most successful in the event’s history, raising $29,364 for the post-911  recalibrated veterans and their families served at the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat in Rome,  ME.  

Carol Brewer, meet director of Decal Gymnastics in Augusta and USA Gymnastics Maine State Chair,  helps to organize the annual event with gym owners and daughters, Delani Sher and Alexis Evans.  Additionally, the gym’s team of 60-plus members all ensure the event’s success, with one father alone raising  $2,500 in raffle sales. 

“It’s a team and family event,” said Brewer, adding that this year’s competition attracted 500 gymnasts from throughout Maine, along with teams from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Brewer first met Mills when his daughter, Chloe, competed at the gym. 

“Folks like the fact that it’s going to a veteran organization right here in Central Maine,” Brewer said. “We serve several veteran families. It means a lot to all of us. It’s truly our favorite meet of the year.” 

The Travis Mills Foundation provides barrier-free experiences to post-911 veterans with life-changing injuries and their families at its Veterans Retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. 

Mills stopped by the event to thank and encourage participants: 

“I loved my job,” said Mills, who lost his limbs in a 2012 IED explosion in Afghanistan while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army. “But I lost my chance to serve my country… the best job I ever had,” he said, adding that starting the Travis Mills Foundation was how he found inspiration to persevere after a life-changing injury. 

“My new purpose was to give back,” he added. 

Mills shared about a TMF program he’s particularly proud of, the Foundation’s Warrior PATHH Program to assist post-911 combat veterans and first responders achieve Post-Traumatic Growth. 

“Now, because of the support from people like you who have cared and who have championed our mission forward [the Travis Mills Foundation] can make a massive difference in the lives of veterans and their families, and veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress,” Mills added. “I can’t thank you enough.” 

Augusta resident Noella Sullivan’s two daughters, Monroe, 11, and Lyric, 7, competed in the event as gymnasts with Decal Gymnastics; Sullivan is also a USA Gymnastics Judge. Additionally, her husband, 

Michael “Sully” Sullivan has served 21 years in the U.S. Navy.  

“Our family has sacrificed a lot, being a part of the military life,” Noella said. “And for us, I’m so thankful that we can give back to our brothers and sisters that did not have the best outcome. We know as a family that the bonding and adjustments to civilian life can be just as difficult as the deployment. This Foundation  shows our recalibrated families that there is fun and love after the most difficult day of their lives.” 

The meet, Noella said, means much to the entire team and to the Sullivan family. 

“We participated in the first cart-wheel-a-thon [for the Travis Mills Foundation],” she said of the gym’s first fundraiser for the Foundation. 

“It’s a whole family weekend for us,” Noella said. “My husband and I help with setting up and tearing  down, I judge all weekend, and our kids help in every aspect: competing, concessions, score flashing,  timing, etc.”  

Additionally, the 19 seniors at Decal Gymnastics were recognized by Mills, and all received a copy of his  recent book, “Bounce Back: 12 Warrior Principles to Reclaim & Recalibrate Your Life.” 

“This was one of our favorite parts of the event,” said Brewer, who is already advertising next year’s 8th annual Never Give Up, Never Quit Gymnastics Invitational, scheduled for March 7-9, 2025, at the Augusta  Armory. 

FMI: 
Molly Lovell-Keely, Communications and Marketing Manager 
Travis Mills Foundation 
molly@travismillsfoundation.org; 207-632-7475 

About Travis Mills Foundation

The Travis Mills Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports post-911 veterans who experienced life-changing injuries while in service to our country. The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers our nation’s recalibrated veterans and their families a week-long, barrier-free,  all-expenses-paid experience at its world-class retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. It offers various programs that help these brave men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation. The  Foundation also offers the Warrior PATHH Program (Progressive Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) for combat veterans and first responders, the nation’s first-ever program designed to cultivate and facilitate post-traumatic growth.