Press Release

Basic Skills program and National Skating Month awarded major grant

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(09/25/2009) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the organization's Basic Skills Program and National Skating Month campaign have received a $100,000 grant from the Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation.

The first $50,000 from the grant will be immediately invested to establish the Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation Fund with the purpose of providing grants to eligible Basic Skills programs throughout the United States. The remaining $50,000 will be utilized to enhance U.S. Figure Skating's "It's Great to Skate" program and elevate the annual National Skating Month efforts to attract, involve and inspire new generations of figure skaters.

"The Foundation is pleased to provide U.S. Figure Skating with the resources necessary to connect with kids throughout the country and help them realize the benefits of learning healthy habits through the discipline and dedication of ice skating," said Paul Wood, trustee of the Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation. "The objectives of U.S. Figure Skating's Basic Skills and National Skating Month programs are in concert with Mr. Hauff's values and love of the sport."

"We are thrilled with the investment made by the Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation in support of U.S. Figure Skating," U.S. Figure Skating President Patricia St. Peter said. "This funding will help our organization pursue one of our most fundamental goals of encouraging more young people to learn the sport and experience the lifelong benefits it provides."

U.S. Figure Skating's Basic Skills Program is a fun, challenging and rewarding beginning ice skating program. Participation enables beginning skaters of all ages and abilities to learn fundamentals of the sport and begin a lifetime commitment to health and wellness. The program offers 12 exciting skating curriculums designed to keep skaters enthusiastic about learning from the time they begin lessons until they reach their goals. Every year, U.S. Figure Skating registers more than 110,000 Basic Skills members in approximately 900 established programs across the country.

"The generosity of the Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation will help U.S. Figure Skating introduce the thrill and excitement of figure skating to young people around the country who otherwise may not be able to experience this wonderful sport," B.L. Wylie, chair of the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program committee said.

The goal of National Skating Month is to increase awareness and participation in ice skating sports. It allows U.S. Figure Skating member clubs and Basic Skills programs to reach out to new members in their community by offering fundamental ice skating lessons from professionally-trained instructors across the United States. Participating rinks host activities such as open skating, free beginning lessons, exhibitions by local talent, skating demonstrations, fun and games on ice, parent education, equipment re-sales, and fundraising activities.

"The Robert V. Hauff & John F. Dreeland Foundation provides our Basic Skills and National Skating Month programs with a timely boost in strength and stature as we head into the final months leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games," U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith said. "We look forward to an even greater impact in the lives of skaters young and old."