MAMARONECK, N.Y. David Cruikshank has his hands in a little bit of everything these days.
While his classmates at Mamaroneck High School may know him best as a trombone player for the school band or a member of the Semi-Royal Shakespeare Company , his most recent accolades come from the world of figure skating.
Cruikshank, 17, recently placed 12th in the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships Novice Dance event. Additionally, he was one of 10 student-athletes selected nationwide as a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors Team, based on his skating accomplishments, academic achievement and community involvement.
"The fact that U.S. Figure Skating, a national organization, recognized me was amazing," Cruikshank said. "I just felt so honored to be placed with high level skaters and people who have done so much."
The Larchmont resident had not told many people about his passion for skating. That is, until this February when he was named a distinguished finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, which recognizes 234 students for impressive community service.
MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain presented him with the engraved bronze medallion awarded to all distinguished finalists. Since then, word of his talent has gotten out.
Each of the last two years during the spring, Cruikshank has organized, promoted and performed in charity shows to benefit Brooklyn Ice, which provides free figure skating lessons and dance classes to underprivileged children. He has raised $30,000 between the two and is currently organizing a third for this spring.
"Skating is very difficult and I love it so much. I just wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to could have the experience of getting on the ice," said Cruikshank, whose family used to live near the nonprofit organization in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
Cruikshank enjoys helping others discover the sport he fell in love with at age 8.
"I got on the ice and I loved it as soon as I got off," he said. "I love the combination of both the athleticism and artistry. As a performer and as an athlete, that really appeals to me.
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