Skating with the stars
By Megan Just, 452 AMW Public Affairs
/ Published January 08, 2010
ONTARIO, Calif. --
Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy tour treated March ARB children to a special ice skating party Dec. 30 at the Center Ice Skating Arena in Ontario, Calif. The 90-minute party included ice skate rentals, skating lessons with the show's performers and a surprise photo opportunity with Minnie and Mickey Mouse in front of a special Disney on Ice backdrop.
Airman and Family Readiness student clerk Lauren Fry worked with Disney on Ice to coordinate the once-in-a-lifetime experience for March ARB children.
"I thought it was a great opportunity for the kids and parents to connect and have a wonderful addition to their holiday season," said Airmen and Family Readiness student clerk Lauren Fry.
Fry worked with Disney on Ice to coordinate the once-in-a-lifetime experience for March ARB kids. "Disney really went above and beyond," Fry said. "They just wanted to do something to support the families of deployers and they went out of their way to make it convenient for them."
The children, who ranged in age from 4 to 14, skated to music from the Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy show while the six performers paired up with the kids for one-on-one skating lessons and later awed the parents and kids with their double axels and spins.
Kimberly Becker, the host of the skating party, is a second-year performer with Disney on Ice. "Some of the kids were nervous at first, but I think they had a lot of fun," she said.
A few of the skating tips Becker shared with the first time ice skaters were: stand straight up, keep your hands in front of yourself, pretend like you're walking and don't tense up. Becker and the other skaters helped the first time skaters balance by holding on to the backs of plastic lawn chairs as they skated. For the most timid children, the professional skaters seated the kids in the chairs and pushed them around.
Becker said skating with the March ARB children was her first direct exposure to the military. "It was a good experience for us, too," she said.
The Beacon advertised the event in a news brief and Fry said the 15 spots filled in just three days.
"It was a wonderful opportunity that Disney provided for these kids," said Sandra Quintanilla, wife of 56th Aerial Ports Squadron's Tech. Sgt. Tony Quintanilla. Mrs. Quintanilla accompanied their 8-year-old twin daughters, Anisa and Clarissa, to the skating party.
Quintanilla said it was a great honor to have shared the experience with her children and she offered a collective thanks to the Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy tour on behalf of the families of the March ARB children who participated.
Center Ice Skating Arena donated staff and the exclusive use of the ice skating rink for the event.
"This is a morale booster. We were excited to have them here," said Diane Stanley, the Center Ice groups coordinator.
"We've been looking forward to this for weeks," agreed Phoebe Chapman, a Center Ice employee.
Disney on Ice offered complementary tickets to the Worlds of Fantasy show and the kids who participated in the clinic were able to watch their skating instructors in action. The show ran at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Dec. 30 - Jan. 3.
A videographer recorded the skating session and each family will receive a commemorate DVD to share the experience with deployed parents.
After the skating party, Fry received many e-mails from grateful parents. "It was an unforgettable experience for the kids," she said.