Midnight Skate fundraiser a hit for alternative breakers

Gregory Cornwell | Staff Photographer West Bloomfield Junior Amarriah Valentine and her brother Nehemiah skate around the Mount Pleasant Ice Arena Friday night. The evening skate was open to students and their siblings as part of Sibs Weekend.

Dozens of students showed up at the Morey Courts Ice Arena Thursday night to come together and skate the night away for alternative breaks.

The semiannual Midnight Skate fundraiser opened to the public at 11:30 p.m. With a $5 donation, which included skates, fun seekers and supporters of alternative breaks skated until 1:30 a.m.

“I think our fundraiser is doing well. We have it for both the spring and fall semesters for the breaks that go out,” said Mark Cantrell, a Belleville junior and alternative breaks fundraising chairman. “It really just brings all of the participants together for one big fundraiser.”

The fundraiser itself raised hundreds of dollars for the participants of this spring’s alternative breaks, Cantrell said. Upon entering the building, the line of skaters and alternative break supporters snaked around the lobby with people pushing together to fit inside.

“Any money we raise distributes between the breaks. You pick the issue that you are most passionate about when paying for your admission,” Cantrell said. “The alternative break with the most tallies gets $10 off of each participant’s break fees. It’s a great incentive to come out to the fundraiser.”

With a short break to smooth the ice about halfway through the night, the rink remained open to skaters of all abilities. Many students were seen zipping in and out of large, slow-moving groups, while others skated backwards and still others hovered near the edge, hands poised to grab the wall at a moments notice.

The fundraiser offered more than just late-night ice skating for students.

They also sold merchandise during the fundraiser including buttons, cups, wristbands and shirts. Cantrell said they also had people making hot chocolate and grilled cheese to sell to students.

Midnight Skate had a successful turnout with many different groups of people, including more alternative breakers.

“This is one of our most active fundraisers we host for alternative breaks,” Cantrell said. “It’s the 20th year for alternative breaks this year, so it’s pretty big.”

Midnight Skate is a favorite event for Shelby Township junior Ariel Pscheidl.

“Midnight Skate is definitely different than most fundraisers,” Pscheidl said. “They had a full house this year, so I think that every year it’s going to be successful.”

Additional entertainment

The a cappella group On the Rox provided entertainment during the fundraiser as well. The group performed two songs in the lobby area while the Zamboni was making its rounds, and a third time out in the center of the rink while skaters circled them.

"I think we've performed before in the lobby, but this is the first time actually on the ice,” said Celia Koschay, On the Rox president and a Grand Ledge senior.

Koschay hasn’t personally participated in alternative breaks, but said she finds them to be a great cause having talked to many who are involved with the process.

Performing on the ice had its ups and downs for the a cappella group, especially when it came to keeping their balance.

"We had a couple of people fall, but other than that, it was cool,” Koschay said. “It was very hard to hear, but it was an experience"


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