Press Release

U.S. Adult Championships name YWCA as "community cares" charity

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(02/19/2009) - Grand Rapids, Mich. - The Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club, host of the 2009 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, has named the YWCA Domestic Crisis Center as its "Adult Skating Community Cares" charity. The championships will be held at the Patterson Ice Center April 22 - 25.

The local organizing committee will be collecting hats, gloves, scarves, undergarments and stuffed toys from competitors and spectators, which will be donated to the Domestic Crisis Center.

"The children who stay at our domestic violence emergency shelter so often show up with nothing more than the clothes on their backs," says Kelli Langan, director of development and marketing for the YWCA West Central Michigan. "We could certainly make great use of winter gloves, hats, scarves, and we often need undergarments for the moms and older girls in our shelter."

"The Adult Figure Skating Championships are a time for skaters of all ages and skill levels to get away for a week of friendship, competition and camaraderie," says Melissa Garland, co-chair of the championships. "One of the traditions at the championships is for competitors to shower one another with gifts such as stuffed toys thrown on the ice. With nearly 500 competitors expected, imagine if everyone gave just one gift, we could do so much to provide comfort in a time of need for women and children in West Michigan."

There is another, more personal reason why the work of the YWCA resonates with the members of the local organizing committee.

"One of our friends and fellow competitors, Charnell Evans, lost his sister last year to domestic violence," says Garland. "She was murdered by her boyfriend, leaving behind an infant daughter. Our friend is caring for his niece via foster care and is waiting for the adoption to be finalized. His selfless act helped inspire our decision to ask if we can be a part of the work of the YWCA West Central Michigan."

"The YWCA is thrilled to be included in the upcoming championships in such a meaningful way," Langan adds.

For more information about the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, please visit the web site or contact Denise Hendershot, GGRFSC President and event co-chair at 616-293-8669 or by email dshendershot@gmail.com. Also available is Melissa Garland, event co-chair at 616-647-2782 or by email melissag915@sbcglobal.net.

About the Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club
The Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club (GGRFSC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1972 to promote the sport of figure skating in the West Michigan area. Skaters range in age from preschoolers to adults, beginners to skilled competitors who represent the club at regional, sectional, collegiate, national and adult national levels.

About U.S. Figure Skating
U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 1,425 member clubs and basic Skills programs representing approximately 184,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States, including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.