For months, gymnasts across the Pioneer Valley have been raising funds that benefit Baystate Children's Hospital in hopes of changing a child's life.
Today those gymnasts were rewarded with a special visit from an Olympic athlete, which comes as the US gymnastics world tries to heal from a shocking sexual assault investigation.
Laurie Hernandez is the youngest winner in the history of "Dancing with the Stars" and now 17 years old.
She says the women Larry Nassar victimized are some of her best friends.
"it's all my friends. all my close friends. and i support every single one of them in the sport and out," said Hernandez.
Today, she brought her message to pioneer gymnastics in east longmeadow, meeting the fundraising gymnasts who have worked so hard over the past few months to make a difference in a young person’s life.
"It's really important that they understand that helping others always comes first," said Hernandez. "That's something my mom always reinforced with me, especially as a kid."
Laurie signed copies of her book.
Dollars from Saturday's event will go directly to Baystate Children's Hospital and help kids in Western Mass who need it most.
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