What a wonderful time I had last month at Ice Theatre of New York's annual gala! I got to watch a terrific show, replete with performances from the Ice Theatre ensemble, special guest skaters Surya Bonaly and Derrick Delmore, and even honoree Nancy Kerrigan took part in the finale number, Footloose on Ice. Nancy starred in the show back in 2001 and has said it was her favorite show to be in, so it was really fun to watch her having so much fun.
After the performances, which included Appalachia Waltz, Low Duet and Skater's Swingtime Waltz, guests mingled with Nancy, Surya, Derrick, Paul Wylie (1992 Olympic silver medalist and Nancy's great friend) who was the emcee for the event, the Ice Theatre ensemble, and many others. There was also a silent auction to raise money for Ice Theatre's 2008-2009 season as well as their free skating clinics for public school students in Harlem and Washington Heights. (I later found out that the gala raised approximately $100,000 for their upcoming season and educational outreach programs -- hooray!) In addition, during the dinner and awards ceremony, long time board member Joan Erdheim received the Ice Angel Award for all her work in promoting Ice Theatre and the arts in New York City.
We also watched a wonderful retrospective of Nancy's professional and personal life to date, including being wife and mother to three(!) young children. It was a trip down memory lane for all in the audience and I was reminded of how incredibly difficult it is to be a two-time Olympic medalist. (And I'm not even going to get into the Nancy-Tonya fiasco because the evening was all about the positive aspects of skating and how one person can continue to make a great impact, so let's leave it at that.)
All in all, a great night for Ice Theatre of New York and I'm already looking forward to next year's gala!
Paul Wylie, Nancy Kerrigan and Moira North, founder and artistic director of Ice Theatre of New York:
Nancy Kerrigan greets children during reception:
Surya Bonaly, three-time Olympian, with Douglas Webster, ensemble director of Ice Theatre of New York: