Yale skaters hit the ice for holiday fund-raiser

The Yale Collegiate Figure Skating Club will spin, glide and twirl to raise money for their fellow athletes in the Special Olympics at their second annual holiday show, “Ivy on Ice,” this Sunday.

The fundraiser, to be held at Ingalls Rink from 3 to 5 p.m., will feature members of the skating club as well as national level competitors. All proceeds will go to the Special Olympics, club treasurer Katie Levine ’07 said.

“We wanted to find a charity that hits close to home, something that people at Yale have probably heard of and care about,” said club Vice President Tiffany Wan ’07, who coached Special Olympics skaters during high school.

Norah Rexer ’07 said club members thought long and hard about their choice for a charity. Members said they preferred to have somewhat of a local impact, Rexer said.

“There are just a million charities to choose from, so we decided it would be easier to set down some criteria first,” she said. “We decided to do one that was semi-local but also national, so it would be something that people would recognize. And obviously the Special Olympics are athletic, so that ties in well.”

Laura Gremelsbacker, the director of public relations for Special Olympics Connecticut, said the organization was flattered to be chosen by the club. Gremelsbacker said the Hamden-New Haven Special Olympics program would benefit greatly from the donations.

“We’re thrilled,” she said. “We’re very excited to be a part of the event, especially since skating is part of our program.”

The program will consist of three solo performances and a group performance by the Yale skaters. The show will also feature national level competitors — Kaitlyn Weaver, Charles Clavey, Jessica Houston, Lindsey Evans, Kevin O’Keefe, Samantha Cepican and Philip Lichtor — from area rinks, club president Sibile Morency ’05 said. There will also be “funny” skits throughout the performance by Yale skaters, she said.

The group number will be performed to a song from “Flashdance,” Rexer said.

“Our group number is really, really fun,” she said. “We get to be very ’80s; we get to just dance around and be together.”

Mary Beth Delaney, a 20-year veteran of the Special Olympics, will speak at the opening of the night and perform a two-minute program, Gremelsbacker said.

“She’s one of our top figure skaters,” Gremelsbacker said. “She is also a trained Special Olympics global messenger, so she educates people about the Special Olympics’ global mission.”

The Yale Alley Cats will also make a guest appearance, singing the national anthem and a few holiday songs.

This is the second annual “Ivy on Ice.” Donations from last year’s show went to troops in Iraq through the Navy-Marine Corps Release Society.

“It was quite an experience trying to get the skaters together, recruiting and doing publicity,” Morency said. “It was a success, but this year we wanted to do it for the Special Olympics.”

Members of the club expressed excitement about the event.

“It should be fun — we are able to show our friends and family what we spend our time doing,” Bethany Cobb GRD ’08 said.

Wan said the evening’s success will be a result of club members’ efforts.

“I’m really excited since we’ve been planning this event since last year,” she said. “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

Katie Levine ’07 glides across the ice. The  Yale Collegiate Figure Skating Club will raise money for the Special Olympics during their holiday show Sunday.
Susan Keppelman
Katie Levine ’07 glides across the ice. The Yale Collegiate Figure Skating Club will raise money for the Special Olympics during their holiday show Sunday.

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