The championship skaters who decided the crowd at the Bright Hocky Center last night spent the afternoon at the Dana Parber Cancer Institute visiting terminally ill children.
Last night's event, the 14th annual "Evening of Champions" benefit, is expected to raise $70,000 for the Jimmy Fund cancer research foundation.
But for the top U.S. and Canadian skaters that the Eliot House Jimmy Fund Committee brought to Cambridge, the visit to the hospital was the most memorable part of their weekend-long stay.
It is unusual for these Olympic athletes to see the actual people they are benefiting, said second-ranked U.S. skater Brian Boitano. In particular, he added, one 10-year-old liver cancer patient who used to skate, impressed him, with his bravery.
Many of this year's participants will be vying in January for positions on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team.
Number one ranked American pair skaters Kitty and Peter Carruthers are featured in the weekend's three shows, as are their rivals, Canadian pair champions Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini.
The second best American male and female skaters are also on the program.
Elsban Zayak, 1982 world champion, and Brian Boltano, 7th ranked in the world, are using the event as a warm-up for the National Championships in January that will determine if they skate in the February Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
Robert C. Faulkner '84, co-chair of the Eliot House Jimmy Fund committee, is pleased with the $70,000 the "Evening of Champions" is expected to raise this year. "We've raised $350,000 in the 14 years that we've had the show, and have managed to raise more each year than the year before," he said yesterday.
Faulkner, ranked 11th nationally in 1980 Senior Men's competition, Elise R. Davison '86, a former double gold medalist and Mike Stephenson '86 a bronze medalist at the 1982 Northwest Championships, will each skate at one performance.
The youngest of the show's performers is nine-year-old Shannon Kiely of Melrose, Mass., a two-year veteran of "Evening With Champions."
Last night's performance was filmed by television station WGBH Boston, and may be aired in the next month.