Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lineup is announced for 2014 Battle of the Blades

Fundraiser set for Sept. 5

Posing here in a preview shot of Septemberís show are six of the nine 2014 Battle of the Blades contestants. They are, in front, Chris Koch, and, in back, from left, Bob Polk, Zach Crist, Emilie DuPont, Scott Slonim and Christine Davis-Jeffers. Not pictured are Megan Thomas, Maggie Acker and George Rizzo. Courtesy photo by James Bour-ret

    Get ready to root for local people willing to put them-selves on the line in front of a big audience—for a good cause.
    That’s because Battle of the Blades is returning to Sun Val-ley Skating Center for one show on Friday, Sept. 5.
    Following a one-year hiatus, the popular event sponsored by the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club promises to be bigger, badder and better than ever.
    Sold-out events in 2011 and 2012 attest to its popularity.
    Battle of the Blades matches nine local celebrity amateurs with highly accomplished fig-ure skating professionals in a one-night exhibition show.
    The local celebrities, some with limited skating experi-ence before signing up for the show, compete in a profession-ally choreographed, fully cos-tumed two-minute routine.
    A panel of celebrity judges provides 50 percent of the final score while the other half is determined by an audience ap-plause meter.
    To further inspire commu-nity involvement, each con-testant chooses a non-profit organization to represent. The top three finishers win cash for the organization of their choice.
    Co-organizer Robin Sias said, “We are beyond excited about this year’s roster of con-testants, as well as about the non-profits they’re skating for.
    “These are all very accom-plished people in this commu-nity. Each will bring so much personality and energy to the event and no matter who wins, some very worthy local non-profits stand to benefit. Every-one is ready to lace up their skates, figure out how to keep off their toe pick and put on a show no one will forget.”
    This year’s contestants and their designated non-profits are are (in alphabetical order):
    - Maggie Acker for the Animal Shelter;
    - Zach Crist for the Sun Valley Ski Education Founda-tion;
    - Emilie duPont for the Flourish Foundation;
    - Christine Davis-Jeffers for Sun Valley Center for the Arts;
    - Chris Koch for Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center’
    - Bob Polk for Community School’
    - George Rizzo for Camp Rainbow Gold;
    - Scott Slonim for the Hun-ger Coalition;
    - Megan Thomas for the St. Luke’s Foundation.
    Proceeds from Battle of the Blades support the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (SVFSC), an organization marking its 75th birthday in 2014.
    The SVFSC offers Learn to Skate group lessons for begin-ners as well as opportunities to compete and perform for seri-ous figure skaters. Battle of the Blades supports affordable group lessons for local young-sters of all abilities.
    Co-organizer Trina Peters said, “Battle of the Blades is back by popular demand. For the past two years our contest-ants, club members and pros have been stopped everywhere they went by members of the community who loved Battle of the Blades and wanted to bring it back. It unites the whole val-ley and is so much fun.”
    Scott Slonim, who designed and ran the applause meter for the past two Battle of the Blades said he is thrilled to be on the ice this year.
    “I am just really excited to be a part of this amazing show again,” he said. “Everyone is so glad it is back. My students at Hemingway Elementary are already telling their parents to put it on the calendar.”
    “After the first Battle of the Blades, we were able to offer numerous group lessons for skaters of many abilities, all at an extremely discounted rate,” said SVFSC board member Pe-ter Hendricks.
    He added, “We were also able to bring children to the rink from the area’s elemen-tary schools to take skating lessons during the traditional ski days. Figure skating pros and hockey players worked with students during these very successful afternoons.
    “Our goal with Battle of the Blades 2014 is to continue and expand on these programs and to get kids on the ice who might not otherwise be able to skate.”
    Battle of the Blades, the primary SVFSC fundraiser, promises to be an electric show with Gia Guddat and Lisa-Marie Allen serving as artistic directors. Nick Maricich is production manager.
    Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available by calling the SVFSC office at 622-8020. Tickets go on sale in the next few weeks and the event is expected to sell out.
    Visit or on Facebook at Battle of the Blades Sun Valley.

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