If you would like to send condolences: Rick Fincham Riva Trace Baptist Church 2990 Riva Trace Pkwy. Annapolis, MD 21401
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This is an article about his little girl. This was before he passed away.
Gambrills gymnast to compete in nationals By SHARON LEE TEGLER, For The Capital
Docksiders Gymnastics in Millersville has trained aspiring gymnasts in Anne Arundel County since 1975 and current owners Bob and Kim Ouellette continue to turn out top notch athletes. One of them, 13-year-old Rachel Fincham, is the pride of her Gambrills neighborhood. The teenager recently placed in the top seven in a regional gymnastics competition in Allentown, Pa. As a result, she will compete Thursday through May 15 in the United States Association of Gymnastics Junior Olympic Nationals in Ontario, Calif. Her goal is to place among the top four competitors in her age group. Those four are awarded a trip to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train with the national team coaches. Rachel qualified for the nationals by competing in four disciplines: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Rachel's family is elated about her success and her mother, Linda, plans to accompany her to the competition. "Rachel worked really hard to achieve her goal of going to nationals," Mrs. Fincham said. "She is an amazing gymnast and I am so proud of her determination, her hard work and her wonderful spirit." However, Rachel's achievements are tempered by challenges for the Finchams at home. Rick Fincham is his daughter's most ardent supporter in spite of having been stricken with a serious illness a year ago which resulted in a loss of mobility. Bob Oullette explained that Rick was incredibly involved with the gymnastics program at Docksiders until his health worsened and he was unable to work in landscaping. If Rachel's excited by the chance to compete in the nationals, she doesn't necessarily show it. Instead, her thoughts turn immediately to her father. "It's been a tough year knowing my dad has been too ill to come to our meets. However, every time I compete, I know he's there in spirit and is still so proud of me for everything I do." Rachel's Docksiders teammates and trainers express the same kind of concern. "They were always a supportive and helpful family. They are wonderful people who would do anything for anybody. We feel like now it's our turn to help. We'd like to give back," said Mr. Oullette. A group of staff members and families from the school, spearheaded by Kim Oullette, have done just that. Their contributions have ranged from fund-raising to surprising the family a couple weeks ago with landscaping, carpentry and other home improvement efforts that may have slipped by as the Finchams have struggled with Mr. Fincham's health problems. Neighbors in the Finchams' Four Seasons community had the same idea. To help her achieve her goals they have set up an account for her at Sun Trust Bank in Gambrills. Their initial aim was to offset expenses incurred by Rachel and Linda for the trip to California. Looking ahead, however, the fund could possibly contribute to some Olympic or other opportunity in her future. They are hoping for more donations to this benefit fund. Helping Rachel will mean the difference between sending a quartet or a quintet to the national competition. Four other Maryland girls - who also train at Docksider Gymnastics qualified in the top seven as well. Two, Alexis Green and Toi Garcia, are Anne Arundel County residents. The others, Stephanie Ouellette and Krystal Welsh, are from Howard and Prince George's counties, respectively.All are level-10 national qualifiers, technically the highest level aside from elite gymnasts who compete internationally. Training and competing at such a high level can be taxing, both physically and finacially. The team's trip to California is one example. A USAG organization raises money to defray the costs for their travel expenses. However, parents are still responsible for a portion of the total cost, about 25 percent including gymnast and coaching fees. The girls are housed as a team in a hotel with the other competitors and coaches, but parents who attend pay their own way. If you would like to make a donation to the benefit fund for Rachel, contact Sun Trust Bank, 2644 Chapel Lake Drive, Gambrills, MD. 21054 or any other Sun Trust Bank. The account is under the name of Rachel Fincham. Sharon Lee Tegler is a freelance writer in Severna Park. Published May 07, 2005, The Capital, Annapolis, Md. Copyright ? 2005 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.