Turning Cancer Upside Down
The Skating Club of Boston welcomed the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation to Boston, Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, in a celebration of fundraising, skating and community. For two days, Club members came together to not only raise money for the Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer-Boston event, but to prove that the power of figure skating extends well beyond the ice rink. “The skaters and skating volunteers of Boston demonstrated to the larger Boston community, and maybe even the country, the power and generosity of their sport. I think we are all proud of that,” said Doug Zeghibe, Executive Director of the Club. Doug helped take the lead in setting the tone and attitude for the Club’s effort, as one of the campaign’s top fundraisers.
Scott had an action-packed schedule during his two-day visit. Trips to both Boston Children’s Hospital Ryan Seacrest Studio and Mass General’s Pediatric Oncology Department accompanied by Club skaters gave Scott the opportunity to visit with patients directly receiving treatment. He also made an appearance at the Club’s Frog Pond Tree Lighting show where he welcomed the crowd, chatted with performers Ross Miner and Maxim Naumov, and then headed over to share the stage and partake in the festivities for the City’s tree lighting celebration. Scott even took a few minutes backstage to meet with Mayor Walsh, who wanted his photo taken with Scott!
On Friday, Club member Peter Lynch opened his home to a luncheon for Scott to further spread his Foundation’s message. Later that evening, Theatre On Ice of Boston volunteers and skaters, along with the Junior Activities Committee, spearheaded the Club’s multidimensional celebration. This a private meet and greet with Scott for those who raised over $1,000 and a lap-a-thon where Scott was joined on ice by our own Simon Shnapir, Ross Minor, Michael Bramante and Max Naumov, and other skaters. They all raised funds by demonstrating how many laps they could skate in 30 minutes. There were also fun on-ice games lead by the Theatre On Ice team coaches, and finally, the exhibition by all the skaters who had each raised over $1,000 for the CARES Foundation.
In total, 125 members signed up for the online crowd-sourcing campaign that had begun in October. After raising $25,000 in a little more than a week, the Club’s goal was increased to $50,000. Then to $75,000. After that, $100,000! And then, we stopped posting thermometers altogether, and just let the membership decide the final effort. In the end, the Club raised a record-breaking $165,000 for the Foundation, with at least 20 percent of the funds staying local with the Mass General Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Karri Morgan, Executive Director for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation shared these thoughts about the Club’s efforts, “There is an unwavering sense of community and family that I felt within The Skating Club of Boston. I am impressed that a sport can unite so many people – not only for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, but within a community that rallies behind a child’s dream to put on skates. She continued, “For CARES, Scott has referenced Boston’s work and the funds raised for cancer research nonstop since our return from your event. To be able to have his sport and his legacy skate in this manner is a gift. I enjoyed watching Scott talk about the Boston Sk8 Elimin8 event at a luncheon that was held at the Bridgestone Arena to Nashville Community Leaders. To this point, Boston made a lasting impact on Scott that might be impossible to top. I learned that given your passion and the right platform you can really use your force for good. Boston proved this point – 165,000 times over!”