Top U.S. and Canadian Skaters to Perform In Annual Jimmy Fund Show This Weekend

The 1974 figure-skating champions of Canada and the United States will perform this weekend at Watson Rink in the fifth annual "An Evening With Champions" benefit skating exhibition.

Gordon McKellen Jr., the 1974 U.S. men's champion, and Toller Cranston, the 1974 Canadian champion and 1974 World free-skating champion, headline the event, which will include performances by all 1974 North American gold-medal winners.

McKellen, who has performed in two of the four previous "Evening With Champions" shows, made history last spring at the World Championships when he became the first person ever to attempt a triple axel jump in international competition.

Eliot House Sponsor

The weekend shows, sponsored by Eliot House, will mark the first ones of the 1975 season for the skaters, who will compete in February at the World Championships.


John Misha Petkevich '73, one of the founders of the skating show and the 1971 North American Men's Champion, has returned from England, where he is currently a Rhodes scholar, to attend the two-day event, but he will not skate.

Petkevich conceived of the skating show four years ago when he underwent knee surgery and noticed the number of children restricted to wheel chairs at the Boston Children's Hospital.

"Skaters spend their time skating in circles hour after hour without doing much for others," Petkevich said yesterday. "It provides one of the few opportunities for skaters to let their hair down and just skate."

In four years the show has raised more than $108,000 for the Boston-based Children's Cancer Research Foundation, the Jimmy Fund.

The show, organized and run by Eliot House residents, was the first skating exhibition ever staged to benefit an outside charity. It has since become a scheduled event on the United States Figure Skating Association schedule.

"The show has gained an unusual prestige in the world of figure skating," Petkevich said.

Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

Other featured skaters are Dorothy Hamill, 1974 U.S. women's champion; Lynn Nightingale, 1974 Canadian women's champion; Melissa Militano and Johnny Johns, 1974 U.S. pairs champions; Sandra and Val Bezic, 1971-74 Canadian pairs champions; Ann and Skip Miller, 1974 U.S. dance silver medalists; and members of the U.S. and Canadian World figure-skating teams.