| Photos by James Bourret.
Before fall weather drives many back to the television set for mindless nights unwinding with shows like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and “Dancing With the Stars,” there’s a chance to root for some local heroes who have spent the last several weeks immersed in training to ice skate for their favorite charities.
Battle of the Blades is on! This unique fundraiser for the nonprofit Sun Valley Figure Skating Club was launched last year and proved so successful that the club was able to offer reduced-price memberships and classes to valley children while rewarding three other nonprofits.
This year’s competitors are snowboard champion Kaitlyn Farrington, for Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; Miles Fink-Debray, ski racer skating for World Cup Dreams Foundation; Lara McLean, firefighter skating for Defenders of Wildlife; Billy Olson, for the Wood River Bicycle Coalition and Michael J. Fox Foundation; Perry’s restaurant co-owner Keith Perry for St. Luke’s Wood River; Sun Valley Adaptive Sports leader Erin Rheinschild for SVAS; The Elephant’s Perch owner Bob Rosso for Blaine County Recreation District and SVSEF; Community School teacher Hannes Thum for his school; and family doctor Cortney Vandenburgh for Blaine Manor.
There is a circus theme this year and candy stations to serve as crowd-pleasing go-go juice. If there’s any doubt that competitors are in this to win it while sacrificing their pride for the sake of humor, check out video teasers on www.battleoftheblades.org.
Organizer and skate mom Robin Sias offered a few tips toward ensuring that a good time can be had by all.
- To get the most from your evening at the rink, be prepared! September evenings are cool and a warm coat and cap will help keep viewers comfortable. Gloves are not recommended as they dull the clapping. More on the noise encouragement below. Bleacher seats can be hard, so don’t hesitate to bring a blanket or cushion so that attention can stay on the action center ice.
- Ticket sales open at 6:30 p.m. Cash, checks and credit cards are all accepted. It’s $10 for students, $25 for general admission bleachers, $50 for center ice bleachers and $150 for VIP lawn chair seats. All seating is based on availability. Log on to www.battleoftheblades.org to look at a seating chart and buy. These tickets will be available at the will-call window before the event.
- This Saturday, Sept. 8. doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin promptly at 8 p.m. The show is a family friendly 90 minutes.
- As you make your way to your seats, be sure to stop at the circus-themed Pick ’n’ Mix Candy tent located by the entrance. Buy a cup and fill it up! Also for sale will be popcorn, glow-in-the-dark jewelry, t-shirts and cowbells. Since the applause-o-meter records all noise in the audience (and counts for half a contestant’s final score) noise is strongly encouraged!
- For the grown-ups, there will be numerous no-host bars.
- The fine print: no flash photography, no outside food or beverages.
— By Jennifer Liebrum