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Teams Elite Skate to Help Others

Some of Northbrook's youngest figure skaters went to Wisconsin to raise money for young people with cancer.

They may be small, but they make a big impact. Almost 40 young girls, synchronized skaters with the Northbrook Park District’s Teams Elite, took part in a skate-a-thon on September 8 to raise money for cancer research and families of children battling cancer.

Through lemonade sales, friendship bracelet sales, door-to-door requests for donations and non-stop skating, the Teams Elite members raised about $7,000.

The skaters traveled with their coaches to Pleasant Prairie RecPlex, just across the Illinois/Wisconsin border, for the Stephanie Joseph Memorial Fund 1st Annual Skate-a-Thon, a day-long marathon event in memory of a figure skater from Naperville. In teams of three or four, the skaters took on the challenge of having at least one team member on the ice at all times for eight hours.

“The major lesson they learned was that children with cancer experience a marathon every day they battle their illness,” said Danielle Ostrower, one of the Teams Elite coaches. “We wanted to give back our time andeffort and push ourselves through various activities, no matter how tiring they may have been.”

In addition to skating, the girls made cards with positive messages for cancer patients and spoke with people whose lives are affected by cancer. They also held relay races on the ice, learned a choreographed group dance and posed for photos in funny costumes.

“They really kept a positive message going about fighting to the end, just like a cancer patient,” Ostrower added. “Throughout the event, the girls recognized the constant reminder that the devastating effects of cancer were greater than the festivities of the day. They were inspired by the event and the fundraising experience, and cannot wait until next year, when they can do it all again!”

The coaches from the Northbrook Sports Center challenged the girls to a contest, and the team that raised the most money won a performance in the exhibition at the end of the event. The winning Teams Elite team raised $1,067, with another team raising a close second of $1,045 – more than $2000 from just eight girls.

The Northbrook Teams Elite is beginning its 12th season at the Northbrook Sports Center. The teams have won several National Championships in their respective levels. They are learning routines for their first competition of the season, the ISI Winter Welcome on December 7-9 at the Sports Center. Admission is free for spectators.

For more information, visit nbparks.org or call 847∙291∙2993.

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