U.S. Figure Skating Announces Inaugural Recipients of Prudential Skating Fund

(1/10/14) - U.S. Figure Skating announced today that Brooklyn Ice (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Paramount Iceland (Paramount, Calif.) are the recipients of the inaugural monetary awards made from the Prudential Skating Fund. The fund, established by U.S. Figure Skating and Prudential Financial in September 2013, is a program that provides $25,000 in financial support to eligible U.S. Figure Skating member clubs and/or programs which address social needs or directly benefit underserved groups and communities within the sport of figure skating.

Brooklyn Ice will receive the Enrichment award in the amount of $12,500. Brooklyn Ice provides free skating instruction and academic support to high-need and economically disadvantaged students in Brooklyn at the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Park. With the gift, Brooklyn Ice will enrich its already existing program by including health and fitness workshops, increasing community involvement and adding a mentoring program. Founded in 2004, Brooklyn Ice’s mission is to "make figure skating an accessible and affordable sport to Brooklyn children living near Prospect Park."

Paramount Iceland, which was built in 1939 by Frank Zamboni and his family, will receive the Building Block award in the amount of $12,500. Paramount Iceland will begin or enhance four initiatives. Partnering with the City of Paramount and the school district, the Iceland staff will educate more than 1,000 students from the after-school programs on health and fitness through ice skating field trips. The organization will automatically enroll the 150 children in its current skating school in the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program and will give scholarships to newly established programs at the club, including the Ice Cadettes synchronized skating program and the Ballyhoo Theatre on Ice program. The remaining funds will be used toward talent identification in which 15 skaters over the course of 2014 will be offered a scholarship for skating classes, specialty classes or equipment.

"Both organizations embody many of the beliefs and principles that we represent as an enterprise," said Shane Harris, vice president of The Prudential Foundation. "These resources are vital to their missions of bringing impactful, quality programs and opportunities to children and youth from a variety of communities."

With the help of Prudential, U.S. Figure Skating aims to meet the challenges of diversity within the sport of figure skating head on. Funds will be allocated annually to two qualifying clubs and/or programs in the United States to develop or enhance existing community-based programs and events that create opportunities that attract, involve and inspire new generations of figure skaters.

"U.S. Figure Skating was extremely proud of the response we got from our member clubs regarding the Prudential Skating Fund," said U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith. "There were several deserving applicants and we know the awards to Brooklyn Ice and Paramount Iceland will make a positive impact on the sport of figure skating and youth in those areas."

To be considered for a Prudential Skating Fund gift, organizations were required to submit an application to U.S. Figure Skating that included a concise plan outlining the mission of their organization and the program it hoped to establish or build upon. The inaugural recipients of the Prudential Skating Fund will be publicly recognized at a presentation today at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden.

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