In 1979, Parkettes competed for the United States in the Pan American Games and brought recognition to the USA and the Lehigh Valley.
In 1981, a Parkette gymnast competed in Moscow on the USA World Gymnastics Championships Team.
However successful, the Strausses knew that if the true potential of the gymnasts were to be tapped, they would need a modern training facility. Of equal importance to them was their interest in providing local children with the opportunity to gain the physical and psychological benefits associated with the sport of gymnastics.
In 1981, Alfred W. Pelletier, then Chairman of the Board of Mack Trucks, Inc., heard of the plight of the Parkettes and realized that Allentown and this country had a "diamond in the rough." Through the efforts of Mr. Pelletier, the Parkettes Parents Organization, and many other local businesses and private citizens, enough money was raised to begin construction of a new Olympic sized and equipped training center on land donated by the City of Allentown.
In this same year, the Parkettes competed in the First International Team championships held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They placed second behind the powerful Chinese team and finished as the top United States team.