Post-Christmas, the Grinch returns for annual fundraiser

The Grinch is inviting the public to come skate with him on from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, at the Howelsen Hill Ice Skating Arena.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

If you’re looking for some holiday fun between Christmas and New Year’s, grab your skates because Steamboat Skating Club is hosting a public skate with a special guest.

The club’s popular annual fundraiser Skate with the Grinch returns for another year Thursday, Dec. 30.

The evening will kick off at 5:30 p.m. when club skaters take to the ice to perform an exhibition piece. Five groups of about four skaters each will perform for the crowd ahead of the public skate session.

For the skaters, this provides an opportunity to perform — something that has been lacking for them during the pandemic.

This year’s Skate with the Grinch marks the first time the club has been able to hold an in-person fundraiser since the end of 2019. Their 2020 spring production of “The Little Mermaid” was canceled eight days before opening night due to scheduling conflicts, and they were unable to host their usual Halloween fundraiser.

Coach Rachel McCormick said that keeping the club’s morale high during COVID-19 was tricky.

“We already don’t have a lot of ice time,” McCormick said. “When COVID happened, and the rink shut down, we had nothing. Some skaters stopped or found another sport while the rink was closed. There was a lull, for sure.”

But as a group, they are working to rebuild.

The club currently has about 30 skaters between ages 5 and 18. And while they’ve never done an exhibition as part of this fundraising event in the past, they wanted to provide an opportunity — especially for the younger skaters — to perform and display what they have learned and been working on for the past few months.

“Our club has been more performance focused rather than competition focused,” explained board member Denise Bohart Brown. “It’s hard when skaters are constantly working on skills, and then they are not able to do the fun part of performance.”

The exhibition will give skaters a chance to once again perform for the public.

Sixth-grader Evie Sachs has been with the Skating Club for six years; now she has worked to choreograph a piece for the exhibition.

“I’m really excited to perform in town because no one has seen us do that in a while,” she said. “We’re really excited to show everyone what we can do.”

The club’s skaters will be skating during the public ice session, as well. Pizza, cookies and hot chocolate will be available for purchase during the event, and all proceeds from the evening will go towards supporting the Skating Club’s operating costs and scholarship programs.

All ages are welcome, and ticket prices include skate rentals.

The Grinch is inviting the public to come skate with him Thursday, Dec. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Howelsen Hill Ice Skating Arena.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

What: Skate with the Grinch

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30

Where: Howelsen Hill Ice Skating Arena, 285 Howelsen Parkway

Tickets: $10/person or $30/family of four (price includes skate rental)

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