Press Release

Weir, Makarova pitch in to help kids fight cancer

"Twirling for Tots" set for May 21st at Westchester Skating Academy

Johnny Weir is scheduled to perform at the Westchester Skating Academy in Elmsford, N.Y., on May 21.
Johnny Weir is scheduled to perform at the Westchester Skating Academy in Elmsford, N.Y., on May 21. (Getty Images)


Press Releases
(05/12/2011) - Elmsford, N.Y. - Three-time U.S. champion, two-time U.S. Olympian and world bronze medalist Johnny Weir will headline "Twirling for Tots," a skating show to benefit pediatric cancer patients, at Westchester Skating Academy, Elmsford, N.Y., on May 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Weir will be joined by 2010 Russian champion Ksenia Makarova, who placed third in the short program and seventh overall at the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.

Tickets to "Twirling for Tots" are $20 for adults and $15 for children and students. They may be purchased at the website.

Proceeds from the show will be donated to Go4theGoal Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation formed in 2006 by Dr. Richard Stefanacci and his wife, Beth, when their son Richard was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Go4theGoal helps make the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families as enjoyable as possible by developing and implementing unique hospital programs and granting personal wishes.

"Twirling for Tots" is the brainchild of three New York-area high school students: Brin Berge, who represents New Zealand internationally; Margot Krisberg, who skates for Israel; and Elise Garden. The high school students were touched by the stories of children whose days were brightened by Go4theGoal programs. These endeavors include gift baskets; the "Apple-a-Day keeps the doctor away" initiative donating Apple MACBook computers; and "French Fry Fridays," which delivers McDonald's fries to pediatric cancer wards.

"Many children suffering from childhood cancer do not have the emotional, financial and logistical support we were fortunate enough to have for our son," Dr. Stefanacci said.

"Through Go4theGoal, we want to bring together as many resources as possible and improve the daily lives of children and their families. Sometimes things that may seem small - an X-box game or a lunch party - can make a big difference. We're delighted that Johnny Weir, Ksenia Makarova and our friends at Westchester Skating Academy are pitching in to help."

In addition to Weir and Makarova, performers will include Felicia Zhang, the 2010 U.S. junior pair champion (with Taylor Toth) and Junior Grand Prix competitor in singles; and Israeli ice dancers Brooke Frieling and Lionel Rumi. A host of up-and-coming local talent, including national competitors Raina Narita, Nicole Rajic and Kendall Wyckoff, as well as regional and sectional competitors, will also take the ice.

In conjunction with the show, Weir will hold a seminar for skaters at the no-test level and upwards, beginning at 3 p.m. and consisting of an hour-and-a-half on-ice, and an hour off-ice, instruction. A half-hour double Axel clinic is also offered. For more information and to register, see the website.

A silent auction will also be held at the event. Auctions include a couture creation from Tania Bass; a skating costume designed by Del Arbour; and one week of summer camp, including ice time and registration fee, at the Lake Placid Olympic Center.

Transportation to the rink is available, with advance booking, via a bus that will depart from 12 East 86th Street, New York, N.Y. at 6:00 p.m., returning at 9:30 p.m. A $10 fare will be charged. Cast is subject to change.