Molly McKenna, a senior at Lenox Memorial High School, has spent countless hours on the ice at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Pittsfield, practicing figure skating and ice dancing routines, teaching younger children, and helping to stage events.
On March 12 and 13, McKenna will skate her final solo as a graduating member of the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club (PFSC), gliding across the ice to the song of her choosing: Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance. To her, the music is a nod to her mom and grandmother, and also an interpretation of the show’s theme, Magic.
“The show always has a theme, and every performance translates it differently,” said McKenna, noting that she will also appear as part of a freestyle group with nine other skaters performing Michael Jackson’s Thriller. “Plus, each group number is choreographed by a different coach, and solo numbers are choreographed by the soloists’ private coach. In order to obtain a solo in the show you have to qualify in front of a panel of judges.”
This high-level of preparation and skills makes PFSC’s annual Ice Show a popular draw, however it’s just one of many community-oriented activities the rink makes possible. It also hosts high school hockey teams, the Pittsfield Parks Department’s Speed Skating club and the Berkshire Bruins Youth Hockey Organization, the Kittredge Hockey Tournament, and offers public skates, Learn-to-Skate programs, discounted entrance fees for Berkshire Community College students.
Peter Bell, executive director for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, said the ice rink has served as a unique community resource since 1961, when it was first constructed and opened for public use.
“Most communities don’t have something like this,” he said. “We operate the rink at an expense, as we do with many other programs at the club, but we look at it as a service that helps us attract and retain members as well as volunteers who are invaluable in keeping the club running.”
Bell added that fees associated with using the rink, from group fees to individual admission public- and learn-to-skate programs, are on average about half the cost of similar rinks, and this has also fostered a sense of shared responsibility among the Berkshire residents who take advantage of the venue.
“We are fortunate to have people stepping up to the plate to volunteer at the rink, in part because they know the community is getting a great deal,” he said.
The annual ice show extends that offer of family-oriented, affordable community entertainment – tickets are just $5 in advance and $6 at the door. An honor student heading to college in the fall, McKenna is happy to receive the support of both the club and the community as well.
“We really appreciate it when people recognize the skaters,” she said.
‘A visitor‘ left this comment on 8 Mar 10
This press release is a wonderful surprise to us! Thank you Jackie! I hope it brings people that love the sport of figure skating to the rink for this week’s upcoming shows.