17th annual Stars and Stripes Invitational

More than 18-hundred athletes are competing in Erie this weekend.

Erie Gymnastics Center and Team Lightning are hosting the 17th annual Stars and Stripes Invitational.

The event is the largest coed gymnastics invitational in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the eastern United States.

This year proceeds from the competition benefit the Fallen Soldiers Picnic Fund.

That charity is based in Erie.

"Every year we've taken on a cause and up to date we've had 75-thousand dollars donated to local charities," said Doug Pershun, the Stars and Stripes Meet Director.

The invitational was founded in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Every charity selected has something to do with that cause. 

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