Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Scott Hamilton and Friends Gala Review

The Gund Arena - Saturday Sept. 8, 2001

Written by Nancy Hodan

This was the second annual event to help support the Scott Hamilton C.A.R.E.S (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education & Survivorship) foundation. Together with the Cleveland Clinic, Scott helped form this foundation. Scott was treated for Cancer at the clinic in l997.

This years show featured live music from the band "Jack Mack and the Heart Attack." Their music consists of Rhythm & Blues with some soul as well. The seven member band performed on a platformed stage at rinks end. A few local musicians joined the brass section. The music THUNDERED throughout the arena for this high energy show. Between skaters they played songs titled "Scotts Overture", "Hurray for the City", "True Lovin Woman" & "Whiter Shade of Pale."

The band announced Scott and he flew on to the rink in a black sparkling shirt, skating to "Sliden." Scott looked fantastic performing lightning fast footwork, huge russian splits and multiple jumps that were landed with ease. The rapid beat of the music, spotlights of stars sweeping the ice, made a lively start for this fabulous show.

Scott caught his breath and talked about last years show. Mentioning Clevelands own pianist Jim Brickman and singer Anne Cochran. Scott says he found a party band for tonights show. Then he shouted "It's Party Time!" His plan is to re-invent the show every year. And plans on "doing these shows forever." Remarking that "this is a celebration for those that have conquered cancer. This show tonight is going to be a party."

Scotts first friend to skate was dressed in tight leather pants and a candy apple red tight t-shirt. His smile sparkled and his skating dazzled the audience. Steven Cousins "Mustang Sally" number was SMOKIN!! He exploded with power and had this crowd in the palm of his hand. He finished with a forward to backward lunge and extended into the splits. But it wasn't over yet....he made us dizzy with a blur scratch spin. Steven the "Showman" shined!

Yuka Sato appeared in velvet looking slacks and a long sleeved bare midriff type top. The red wine color enhanced her beauty. Husband Jason Dungjen skated out in leather pants and a red wine colored shirt. They skated to a Wilson Pickett song called "She's Lookin' Good." Powereful lifts & tremendoous strength and height on the throw axel. A gorgeous death spiral and they mesmerized the crowd with this number.

Another performer and friend of Scotts that joined this group was singer and actress Susan Anton. She sang a song by Otis Redding called "Can't turn you loose." She mentioned " The ice is gonna melt before the show is over." Then said a cute remark about "all those guys backstage in leather pants."

Susan sang a lovely song by Joan Osborne called "My Love is Alive." Jenny Kirk graced the ice to hi-light her talents. A huge axel, low and fast sit spin and dainty lay back spin. She wore a sequined red, white and blue outfit. Her skating and lovely smile were a special touch to this show.

Jenni Meno wore a flowing pink dress with delicate flowers and was joined by husband Todd Sand. They skated to Bonnie Raitt's "I can't make you love me." As usual their skating was beautiful and emotionally artistic. Their ending pose had Todd kneeling with Jenni standing above him as they gazed into each others eyes.

Renee Roca & Gorsha Sur were entertaining skating to a song by Aretha Franklin/B.B. King titled "Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You." Between the unusual moves and innovative lifts, their skating was superb. They played right into the characters that were being vocalized in the song, which was fun.

Scott mentions he's known the band for 18 yrs. and their music never fails to make him smile. Last year Todd Eddredge showed up to watch the show. Scott told him he'd have to skate for his supper this year. (A gala dinner was held after the show) Scott remarks "Todd's been working harder then ever at 30 years old to win an Olympic medal. I'm so proud of him---I love this guy!" Todd covered every inch of the ice surface while skating to Bon Jovi's "Thank you for Loving Me." From his tremendous triple axel and triple salchow, to the immense height he achieved on his russian splits. His spins are incredibly fast and meticulously centered. It was obvious from his performance that he has been very dedicated to his training.

Susan Anton sang "Color of Roses" a lovely song for Yuka to perform to. She appeared in a delicate white flowing dress with tiny yellow flowers adorning it. Yuka literally floated across the ice with the angelic grace she' famous for. A double axel was hi-lighted with her arms above her head in the position of a ballerina. Her layback position is exquisite.

Scott is joined by Kurt Browning for a chat on the ice. Scott mentions how dressed up the crowd is tonight. Kurt dressed in his shiny pants and white shirt mentions he feels under dressed. They joke for awhile and the crowd is laughing. Then Scott proclaims "Here's the King of Canada, my friend, my brother from another mother.....KURT BROWNING." In case you haven't guessed by now....he skated to "Brickhouse" that funky song by the Commodores. I thought for sure the ice was gonna melt during Kurt's number. Kurt was the king of funk tonight and he does have the fastest footwork in the world!!

Kristi Yamaguchi joins Scott on the ice to chat. Scott claims Kristi is "The finast of the fine and the best of the best. She's the finast skater in the world." In her sexy red dress Kristi skated to "Smooth" by Santana. This was performed live tonight by the Jack Mack band. Kristi was as smooth as silk and an absolute delight to watch.

Susan Anton sings "Highgate Shuffle" a Rod Stewart song. She strutted around the rinks edge singing and flirting with the audience members.

Scott, Steven, Kurt, Todd and Gursha came on next skating to a James Brown Medley. They had black pants with wild, bright flowery shirts with colored t-shirts underneath. This number was well choreographed and packed with energy. My favorite part being Todd and Steven doing fast footwork side by side down center ice. Todd was laughing all the way and Steve was grinning from ear to ear. Lot's of fun for the skaters and the audience.

Scott got up on stage with the band and said "I've been waiting 18 years to do this." He felt right at home joking with the group and pretending to be their leader. The other guys (skaters) were sitting on the edge of the stage enjoying Scotts moment.

Next up was Yuka, Jenni, Jennifer and Renee skating to a variety of songs by the group "The Temptations." They each wore a variety of bright colored outfits. Tank tops and perky little skirts. A fun and groovy type number for the ladies tonight.

Scott talks to the audience while standing at center ice. Asking who attended last years show to celebrate survivorship with those that faced it, beat it, to go on and live happy lives again. Claiming we still have too much loss. He's very emotional at this point as he recalls his mothers death to cancer. Then mentioning Jenny Kirk recently lost her mother to breast cancer. He says we are still facing the biggest challenge, to find a cure for cancer. With tears welling in his eyes and voice he dedicates his next skate as a tribute to his mom. He looks at the audience and says "You empowereed me to come back to center ice to see the most beautiful site in the world." Susan Anton sings the Gary Morris song "With one more look at you." I love this touching number and the song belongs to Scott.

I believe that Scotts words touched the audiences hearts. He has taught us that life is full of many challenges. He has proven that he has conquered the toughest mountain and reached the highest peak. he's such an inspiration and so dedicated in his plight to help others. Scott skated with such emotion and inner strength. he received a standing ovation and his smile melted my heart.

Scott jokes after the skate that "I think I left my legs in Vancouver." He thanks the audience once again. Then introduces the hostess of the evening Maria Miller. Then Helen McLoraine the woman that sponsored him earlier in his career. He kisses them and hands them beautiful floral bouquets that Kurt brought out.

Scott announces each skater by the State that they are from. They join him in front of the stage. Side by side, arms around each other and with their feet crossed in front. They are athletes, and entertainers....but most importantly they are friends.

A gala was held after the show at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Cocktails, Dinner, Dancing and a silent auction with autographed skates were all part of this charity event. I was unable to attend the gala, but I am sure it was as successful as the skating show.