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Farmington Hills

December 11, 2012

Figure skating club’s Holiday Exhibition benefits Sweet Dreamzzz

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Figure Skating Club is skating for a cause this holiday season.

The skating club’s annual Holiday Exhibition — held from 4:45-6:45 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Farmington Ice Arena, 35500 W. Eight Mile Road — will include 40 performances from 50 skaters of all ages and abilities, while benefitting the Farmington-area nonprofit Sweet Dreamzzz.

“This is a fun event for our skaters because they pick their own music; a lot of the older skaters are doing their own choreography, so they pick what they are going to wear. So (the) skaters themselves have a lot of input into what they are doing, so they really enjoy this,” said Helene Garber, secretary of the Farmington Hills Figure Skating Club.

The Holiday Exhibition, according to Garber, is a time for the skaters to showcase their talents individually, although some will be skating as pairs, and there also will be one group performance.

“People will see a variety of skating levels, from the newly beginning skaters to our advanced skaters, who are doing double jumps and intricate spins and complicated footwork,” she said.

Light refreshments, including cookies, brownies and other snacks, will be offered after the show.

Garber said the skating club hosts a Holiday Exhibition every year.

“We always have a charity that we support, and it’s typically the Goodwill, but this year our Junior Board — which is made up of a group of high-school skaters — researched and decided to choose a charity that was located in the Farmington area, Sweet Dreamzzz,” she added.

Sweet Dreamzzz is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the health, well-being and academic performance of at-risk children and their families through sleep education and bedtime essentials.

Through the program, Sweet Dreamzzz office manager Susan Orlikowski said, volunteers use interactive games and activities to help participants understand why they should get a good night’s sleep and how to do so.

“Sleep is a really big topic in the medical profession right now because they have found links from lack of sleep to obesity, to diabetes, to mood changes and even loss of memory,” she said.

“When you don’t get enough sleep, then your brain is not able to function correctly,” she said.

When the program presentation is complete, Sweet Dreamzzz gives each student his or her own sleep kit, which provides a child with various materials that Orlikowski said their families may not otherwise be able to afford. Items in the kit include a sleeping bag, nightshirt, socks for warmth, a toothbrush and toothpaste for hygiene, and a stuffed animal, activity book, crayons, and reading book to aid in bedtime relaxation.

Instead of charging a fee to get into the Holiday Exhibition, the skating club will be collecting donations to Sweet Dreamzzz for the sleep kits. The following will be accepted: cash donations to purchase sleeping bags and pajamas, new or gently used Beanie Babies (tags must be intact), medium or large white tube socks, toothpaste, 16- or 24-count packages of crayons, or children’s books relating to sleep — including “Goodnight Moon,” “The Going to Bed Book,” “I Love You to the Moon and Back” and more.

For more information about the Holiday Exhibition, call the Farmington Hills Figure Skating Club at (248) 478-8800. For more information about Sweet Dreamzzz, visit www.sweetdreamzzz.org.