INDIAN TRAIL – Area figure skaters will soon take to the ice to raise money for a cause dear to their hearts.
The Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail will host an ice-skating show, Brighter Than The Sun, on Aug. 2, a Saturday, to benefit the Go Jen Go Foundation, an organization that supports breast cancer patients. Charlotte resident Jen Pagani, who lost her battle with inflammatory breast cancer in February, founded the Go Jen Go Foundation in 2007 after her diagnosis. The Pagani family started the organization after receiving financial and emotional support from others and wanted to pass on the wealth.
“Even if you’re employed and have medical insurance, cancer can limit your resources,” Joe Pagani, Jen’s husband, said.
The organization raises money to provide financial support to breast cancer patients and transportation to treatments. “That can extend from moving expenses to a regular stipend while they’re in treatment,” Britt Boshamer Yett, one of Jen’s best friends and member of the Go Jen Go Foundation, said. “Statistics say that 70 percent of cancer patients experience financial difficulties.”
That can mean a patient having to decide between something as important as paying the heating bill or getting their next treatment, she added.
“We try to take away the distractions that women are faced with during cancer so that they can focus on the real fight,” Pagani said.
Gabrielle Gorman, a senior at Grace Academy, was a family friend of the Pagani family and called the foundation something near and dear to her. She decided about six months ago to do something to help in Jen Pagani’s “honor and her memory,” Gabrielle said.
Gabrielle has been a figure skater for about 10 years, and decided a skating show was the best option to help.
“I wanted to help the foundation and just do what I know,” Gabrielle said. “I felt this would give me the biggest audience to help the foundation.”
She gained the approval of U.S. Figure Skating, Carolina’s Figure Skating Club, and local skaters to form the group who will perform in August. The hour-and-half-long show will feature Jessica Hu, a United States Figure Skating Association senior level figure skater; and a fire act by Danielle Logano, a figure skater at Extreme Ice Center who will be joined by 10 to 12 other girls, including Gabrielle. The girls have practiced their routines for the past four or five months, according to Gabrielle.
“I was very honored and even more proud that Gabrielle Gorman and Allie Lawhon (a fellow skater) wanted to put such a special event together,” Logano said in an email. “When you know you can brighten someone’s day with a talent you have, it touches my heart the most.”
Yett sees the event as a testament of the impact her friend had on others’ lives.
“To see a young girl stepping up and making a difference just shows the reach that Jen had,” she said, adding how people are often moved to do “extraordinary things” when it comes to cancer and how the foundation continues to carry out Jen’s legacy by helping breast cancer patients.
The show will start at 6 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door: $8 for adults and $5 for children 10 and younger. The center is located at 4705 Indian Trail Fairview Road.
Find more information about the Go Jen Go Foundation at www.gojengo.org.