Lili Malone, a sophomore at Stevenson High School, figures she goes back as far as Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove. She started taking skating group lessons there at the age of 3, when the rink opened.
More than a dozen years later, Malone still skates there, now sharing private ice time with other elite figure skaters.
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Last fall, she advanced to seventh place at the Midwest Sectionals in the novice division of the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Skating and practicing for her next competition has become a way of life for the Lincolnshire resident, but now she has new motivation.
Malone will be one of the featured skaters in a benefit show at Twin Rinks, mounted in memory of Lindsey Eyles, the 11-year-old Mount Prospect resident who passed away in November after a battle with Ewing Sarcoma.
The show, "We Sk8 4 Life," will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at Twin Rinks, 1500 Abbott Court in Buffalo Grove. It is sanctioned by the U.S. Figure Skating Association and hosted by the DuPage Figure Skating Club. An hour of free skate time will follow.
Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life in Mount Prospect, which is May 19, and specifically Lindsey's team, Lots of Love for Lindsey.
"It's really special for us, because there's so much meaning behind the show," Malone added. "We do skating shows all the time, but not like this one."
In all, nearly a dozen soloists will be featured, including Malone. She plans to skate an exhibition program to the song "No Boundaries" by Chris Allen.
"It's a really inspiring song," Malone says, "so it fits the show."
Other featured skaters include Jason Brown of Highland Park, who placed ninth among senior men in January at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, as well as Jordan Moeller, the national silver medalist in the novice men's division this year.
They will be joined by Rachel Chang of Vernon Hills, Anna-Britt Hall of Waukegan, Yu Yu Miao of Palatine, Austin Stephen of Hawthorn Woods and Garrett Kling of Deerfield, the first alternate to nationals this year in the junior division.
Kling has organized the show, rallying many of the skaters who train at Twin Rinks to participate.
"It's not often that skaters can do something like this, that's so meaningful," Kling said. "It puts everything in perspective for us. We're doing what we love for a good cause."
Many of the skaters will combine with Twin Rinks Skating Director Laura Kaplan and former Olympic gold medalist and current coach Susie Wynne in the final ensemble number.
Set to "Hallelujah," a song performed by American Idol winner and Lindsey's favorite performer Lee DeWyze, it promises to be an emotional tribute.
For details about the show, Lindsey's story and how to contribute to the team, visit www.wesk84life.com.