Fundraiser For East Texas Teenager Hoping To Compete In Russia

Hours in the sun, scrubbing away the dirt on cars may not seem like the way most teens would want to spend their last weekend of summer break, but a group of hughes springs teenagers did just that to help a friend.
"They've been great," said 15-year-old Preston Leslie. "They pray for me all the time they're totally behind me 100 percent."
Preston Leslie has been competing since January in junior gymnastics competitions. In that short time, he's already established himself as one of the best in the nation. Now, Preston has the chance to attend the International Power Tumbling and Trampoline training camp in St. Petersburg, Russia.
"It's actually an international training camp and competition so we will be able to train with the best in the world," said Preston.
 However, it will take a little monetary help to get him there. Good friend Stacie Stovall had the idea to organize a fundraising car wash. 
"I really wanted to see him go and this is an opportunity that will probably never come again for anybody in Hughes Springs," said Stacie. "I didn't want to see him pass up this opportunity." Preston's mother, Pat, said her family has received a tremendous amount of support.
"People have stopped us in the grocery store, stopped us in the restaurant, just any and everywhere to ask when is he competing again and where is he going next," Pat said.
Saturday's car wash raised over $500. Preston said knowing others want to see him succeed gives him great motivation.
"It means a lot," said Prestion. "It means that there are a lot of people behind me that I wouldn't think support me, whether I know it or not."
The deadline for entry to the competition and camp in St. Petersburg, Russia is in 2 weeks. Preston will need almost $2,000 more to attend.

Maya Golden reporting,