U.S. Figure Skating announced today the three recipients for the Elaine Theisen Diamond Ice FSC Fund (Elaine Theisen Fund), which supports Adaptive Skating programs. This is the first year that U.S. Figure Skating awarded the grant to multiple programs.
The Hershey Figure Skating Club, Greeley Ice Haus and Sioux Falls Figure Skating Club will each receive $1,000 based on their proposals submitted to the Adaptive Skating Committee.
“Elaine Theisen was my friend and I believe that she would be so pleased knowing that her fund is supporting these great initiatives,” said U.S. Figure Skating’s senior director of membership, Susi Wehrli McLaughlin. “Let’s all get behind Elaine’s goals and open our hearts and rinks to everyone who wants to skate.”
Each organization will use the funding as follows:
The Hershey FSC will purchase new equipment, including safety helmets and walker ski glides for on-ice folding walkers. The club will also purchase assistant walkers with armrests, which will provide safe mobility for skaters with cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder with seizures. Hershey FSC will also provide American Sign Language training to staff and volunteers. Further, the club will work with community organizations and the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer cost-effective Adaptive Skating classes.
Greeley Ice Haus plans to increase accessibility to all facility programs by teaching adaptive classes on synthetic ice at local schools. The rink will also offer Adaptive Skating public sessions and Learn to Skate classes while providing adaptive off-ice training for staff. The Greeley Ice Haus will also schedule transit routes with Paratransit Services to provide Adaptive Skating participants group rides to and from the rink.
Sioux Falls FSC will use the grant to introduce children and adults in the Sioux Falls community to the benefits of participating in ice skating. The club plans to host multiple Adaptive Skating clinics and educate coaching staff about Adaptive Skating programs. The club will also purchase Adaptive Skating equipment to support skaters and host more inclusive shows and competitions.
Established in 2012, the Elaine Theisen Fund provides grants to Special Olympics and Therapeutic Skating programs or member clubs who wish to enhance their operations to attract, involve and encourage new generations of skaters. The Adaptive Skating Committee typically awards one grant each year, and applications open in the spring.