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Stars, Students Skate for Cancer Fund

By Megan B. Prasad, Crimson Staff Writer

An Evening with Champions, a Eliot House-based charity event that raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s  Jimmy fund, celebrated its 42nd anniversary with star-studded list of competitive skaters this weekend.

Over the past four decades, the student-organized event has raised over $2.5 million for the cancer institute. Though this year’s total has not yet been calculated, last year the show collected a record $86,000 for the Jimmy Fund.

Paul S. Wylie ’90-91, a 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist, and Emily A. Hughes ’11-12, a 2006 Olympian, co-hosted the event.

“When I was younger and coming up in the ranks I remember that the elite skaters would come to this event,” said Jeremy D. Abbott, a three-time national champion who headlined the event. “If you were invited to an Evening with Champions it meant you were really good.”

The event, which was hosted at the Bright Hockey Center, attracted both Harvard students and community members, although it did not sell all of its seats.

“We may not have Yuna Kim’s name to bring in a lot of the audience members, but we still have a very talented cast this year,” co-chair Amanda J. Black ’14 said.

The EWC team raised money for the Jimmy Fund through ticket sales, corporate sponsor donations, a silent auction, and Skating with Championsa new contest that gave skaters who raised the most money a spot in the evening’s show.

Skating with Champion’s winner Caterina Alf raised $4,000. Overall, the contest raised $10,000.

“It was only the first year [of the contest], so hopefully we’ll get even more money from that in the future,” Black said.

With music ranging from Beyoncé to Footloose, the show included a wide variety of skating styles. Jason L. Brown elicited laughter from the crowd as he skated to “Can’t Touch This.”

This year, there were two current Harvard students in the show: Blake K. Rosenthal ’14 and Christina H. Gao ’16.

Now a long-time Harvard Tradition, EWC draws many of the same skaters year after year. Audience members and former ice-dancers Nancy Albert and Richard J. Albert have been coming to the show since it first began 42 years ago.

“We love to see the skaters achieve some measure of success, and it’s fun to watch the kids,” Richard said. “My wife and I still ice-dance and still love it. Also, we still have all of our joints, so we still can.”

—Staff writer Megan B. Prasad can be reached at mprasad@college.harvard.edu.

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An Evening With Champions