Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raising Breast Cancer Awareness...on the Ice!

On the eve of Skate Canada International, I wanted to focus some attention on a cause important to me and the work I do outside of figure skating...while featuring figure skating!

As many of you know or at the least are about to learn, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can visit the Susan G. Komen websitee to learn more about Breast Cancer but the fact is we need to focus more attention on it. In the U.S. alone, 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women in 2010.

But Breast Cancer isn't just an issue in the United States, it's a global issue, and a group of men from Canada do a fantastic group of not only bringing attention to Breast Cancer, but also raising money for Breast Cancer research. If you haven't heard of The Ice will now!

The Ice Men bill themselves as "an all male comedic precision skating team." I asked Tyler Cochrane who is the Captain of The Ice Men, what's one thing the world should absolutely know about The Ice Men; "We love to skate, we love to laugh, and we especially love "OLD SCHOOL PRECISION" was the answer!

Another thing I think the world should know is that this talented group of men have raised nearly $25,000 for Breast Cancer Research. How does a 'comedic precision skating team' accomplish such a feat? By delighting audience members across to amazing performances and then donating the money to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. It's important to note that all proceeds go towards fighting breast cancer. All their outfits, their training facilities, and even practice ice are donated to them. In fact, even now, they are looking for some practice ice for the upcoming season. Talk about commitment!

I wondered what the motivation for doing such amazing work and Tyler shared that a vast majority of the team has known someone directly affected by cancer. He summed their motivation up brilliantly, "The reality is cancer effects everyone one way or another." And with such dedication comes high praise. "There is rarely a show that goes by where someone hasn't made some sort of comment towards our cause and how much they appreciate what they are doing. It is such an added bonus knowing that we are supporting such a great cause considering how much fun and enjoyment we all get out of performing each number." According to Tyler these accolades are continuously pouring in and that he recently received a very personal e-mail from someone who had recently lost a loved one to breast cancer and thanked them for the work they do for Princess Margaret Hospital.

And these guys keep busy. In fact, you'll see several of them competing this weekend at Skate Canada including Dylan Moscovitch (with partner Kirsten Moore-Towers) and Mitch Islam (with partner Alexandra Paul). Tyler says a majority of the Ice Men have or currently are competing at the Junior and/or Senior National/International level. "We are lucky to have the talent we have."

"We love to skate, we love to laugh, and we especially love OLD SCHOOL PRECISION." My guess Ice Men...a lot of people love you!

You can find lots of information about Breast Cancer at the Princess Margaret Hospital website and you can make a donation to the Princess Margaret Hospital by clicking this link. Also follow The Ice Men on Twitter @The_Ice_Men and on flickr.

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