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Rye Skating Club Celebrates 80th Anniversary With Free Show At Playland

Alexia Paganini
Alexia Paganini Photo Credit: Provided

RYE, N.Y. -- The Rye Figure Skating Club, founded in 1937, will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a free ice skating show on Saturday, March 11, at Rye’s historic Playland Ice Casino.

The one-hour show will feature more than 70 performers – the majority of whom reside in Westchester County – including award-winning members and alumni of Rye Figure Skating Club.

Harrison resident Alexia Paganini -- the 2016 U.S. Novice Silver Medalist in figure skating and four-time Eastern Sectional Champion -- will be one of the headline skaters at the event.

Different disciplines of ice skating will be showcased such as freestyle, pairs, ice theatre, ice dance and synchronized ice skating.

Following the show, audience members can take part in a free public ice skating session. The event is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating.

“We are so proud to be one of the oldest figure skating clubs in the country,” said Martha Downen, president of the Board of Rye Figure Skating Club. “The 80th Anniversary Celebration on Ice is our way of giving back to the community as well as displaying all the amazing local talent among Rye FSC’s membership and special guest skaters from the greater New York area.”

In honor of the event, the Westchester County Board of Legislators proclaimed March 11, 2017 “Rye Figure Skating Club Day.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Rye FSC on its “milestone anniversary celebration,” noting the evening will have “a wonderful slate of performances…from gold medalists to the youngest tiny skaters just starting out on the ice.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said, “I am grateful to the Rye Figure Skating Club and all of its members and supporters for their commitment to fostering local talent in ice skating.”

As part of the free event, Rye FSC is holding fundraisers, including raffle sales and a bake sale, the proceeds of which will be divided between two worthy charitable organizations – the Rye FSC Founders Fund and the Port Chester Carver Center, a nonprofit organization serving families in need since 1943.

"We hope the 80th Anniversary Celebration will not only raise awareness of the history of Rye Figure Skating Club, which has been serving the residents of Westchester County and the greater Metropolitan area, but also Carver Center’s long-standing service to our local community,” said event Co-Chair Leigh Gold.

Event attendees are asked to contribute to the Carver Center Food Pantry. A donation of one food item from each audience member will go far to help families in need, according to a release from Rye FSC.

The recipient of the first annual Shirley W. Bourquin Scholarship will also be announced at the event. The late Shirley W. Bourquin was a long-time president of Rye FSC and great supporter of skating, the release said.

The Scholarship will be awarded to a Rye FSC home club member who exhibits the passion for skating that Bourquin embodied.

The event will be from 8 - 9 p.m. Playland Ice Casino is at 100 Playland Parkway, Rye.

For additional information about the event and to RSVP, visit http://ryefsc.org/80th-anniversary.html.

Rye FSC is a nonprofit organization formed in 1937 to help support and encourage participation and achievement in figure skating at both the local and national level.

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