Top relay team plans ice skating show fundraiser

March 23, 2009

By David Hayes

The official Issaquah Relay for Life event is still over two months away. But that’s not stopping one group of enterprising teens from getting a head start on fundraising to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s annual event in June.

The six members of the team Highland Tigers from Skyline High School are hosting their second annual Ice Skating Exhibition, from 7:30–11:30 p.m. March 28 at Castle Ice.

Team captain Michelle Murphy, a junior, said the Highland Tigers are all amateur, competitive ice skaters. And they’ve invited some friends from the region to join the festivities.

“There will be roughly 15 skaters from around the Seattle area performing in the show, with ages ranging from 12 to 18 years old,” Murphy said. “All of the skaters who will be performing are Northwest Pacific regional competitors, but many of these skaters are also junior national, sectional, national and international competitors as well.”

This is the team’s second year in the relay. Murphy said they were all at the skating rink chatting one day when they decided it would be a good idea to join in on the relay. Many of them have close experiences with cancer.

“My sister had leukemia at age 3 or 4 and team founder Chrissy Hughes’ mother had breast cancer,” Murphy said.

Hughes, a gold medalist at the 2007 Junior Grand Prix Harghita Cup and 2007 Junior Grand Prix Sophia Cup, is now a freshman at Seattle Pacific University.

The next logical step for the group of skaters was to host an exhibition. Admission is $5 per person, with all the proceeds going to Relay for Life. Murphy said after the performances, there will be an open skate for the public attending the show for $8.

“The rink has been generous enough to give $3 of every $8 fee to Relay,” Murphy added.

Last year’s event raised more than $700. Murphy said she hopes to top $800 this year. To bring in the extra dollars, there will also be a bake sale, a free tea tasting of a variety of Pacific Mist teas and a booth selling reusable water bottles.

Relay for Life event co-chair Karen Conley said the Highland Tigers are the leading teen fundraisers. So far, they’ve raised $940. Their goal is $2,500.

Conley said the overall goal for Relay is to top last year’s total.

“We’re aiming to get 80 teams to raise $242,000,” Conley said.

With only 48 teams so far, she said organizers will accept applications for new teams until early May. The next team captain meeting is at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, where team expectations are reviewed, event information is passed along and challenges are given for the month. To entice more attendance, Conley said Domino’s Pizza is donating free pizza.

This year’s relay May 30-31 will break from tradition and be at Skyline High School, due to construction at Issaquah High School. The evening’s highlight will still be the always-impressive memorial luminaries lit up in remembrance of those who have won and lost their battles with cancer. There will also be camping out on the track’s infield and live entertainment, although that is yet to be lined up, Conley said.

For now, Murphy said the public will have to come to Castle Ice for a night of fun entertainment.

“They’ll be able to see a whole bunch of skaters doing what they love to do,” Murphy said. “Plus, during the free skate, they’ll get to spend time with their family and friends and the people they love.”

If you go

Relay for Life Ice Skating Exhibition

7:30-8:15 p.m. March 28

Castle Ice Arena

12620 164th Ave. S.E., Renton

Admission: $5

Open skate: $8

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