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OKLAHOMA’S FIGURE SKATING COMMUNITY RALLIES TO SUPPORT STORM VICTIMS


by MIMI WHETSTONE In the wake of May’s devastating tornadoes,


members of the Oklahoma figure skating com- munity came together to provide relief for those affected by the storms. Donation drop-off points and blanket drives


for storm victims in temporary housing were es- tablished at both Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Ed- mond, Okla., home of the Oklahoma City Figure Skating Club (OKCFSC) and Blazers Ice Centre in Oklahoma City, Okla., home of the Sooner Skating Club. Oilers Ice Center in Tulsa, Okla., offered free public skating with the donation of a blanket over Memorial Day weekend and the Tul- sa Figure Skating Club sold “Pray for Oklahoma” T-shirts for $15 on its website with all proceeds going directly to those affected by the storms. In addition to accepting and delivering


donations, members of the OKCFSC and Arc- tic Edge Ice Arena collected help for Operation BBQ Relief, a nonprofit organization that pro- vides meals for victims of natural disasters, and other members volunteered their time to assist with the cleanup process. As Oklahoma families continue to rebuild,


the figure skating community continues to stand behind those who need assistance. In an effort to raise funds for those affected by the storms, the OKCFSC and Arctic Edge Ice Arena will host an ice show with all proceeds from ticket sales and contributions being donated to assist in the recovery efforts. Te show will be held at Arctic Edge Ice Arena, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. “Te figure skating and hockey communi-


ties have all been wonderful,” Pat Young, man- ager at Arctic Edge Ice Arena, said. “We’re all working toward the common goal of providing relief to those who need it.” Guest performers have been contacted to


take part in the show, which will pay tribute to the unfulfilled dreams of those who lost their


Members of the Arctic Edge Ice Arena, Julie Brown, left, and Alyssa Brown, right, load up water and food to deliver to local shelters in the wake of the Moore tornado. They were helped by family members visiting from Pennsylvania: Jeff Brown, Ryan Brown and Jenna Brown.


lives in the storms. “All of our club members and athletes want


to use their talents to help the city recover,” Chris Castleberry, OKCFSC ice show director and cho- reographer, said. “Even though we have all do- nated water, clothing, food, blankets and cash, or have physically been at disaster areas to help with cleanup, we feel that in the aftermath this activity will help us all heal the wounds of loss through our amazing sport.” For details and tickets, contact Arctic Edge


Ice Arena at 405.748.5454 or Barbara Higgs, OKCFSC president, at okcfsc@sbcglobal.net.


Oklahoma City Figure Skating Club President Barbara Higgs and her daughter Ciana collect supplies to help the victims of the massive twister that devastated the nearby city of Moore, Okla., in May.


FACTS ABOUT TORNADOES


• About a thousand tornadoes touch down in the United States each year, more than any other country.


• Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas make up Tornado Alley, where tornadoes strike regularly in the spring and early summer.


• Knives and forks have been found embed- ded in tree trunks flung from a tornado.


• Tornado winds are the fastest winds on Earth. • In 1931 a tornado in Mississippi lifted an 83-ton train and tossed it 80 feet from the track.


• Usually, a tornado’s color matches the color of the ground. Information collected from “A Tornado Facts Website”


The EF5 tornado in Moore, Okla., struck on the afternoon of May 20. Its peak winds were estimated at 210 miles per hour. The storm, which stayed on the ground for 39 minutes, killed 24 people and injured 377 others. The tornado left a 17-mile path of devastation.


12 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013


PHOTOS COURTESY OF BARBARA HIGGS


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