Skaters Care: A Benefit for Japan Tsunami Relief

by George S. Rossano

Ontario, CA, March 18.  We have learned that Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA will announce tomorrow a figure skating benefit for Japan tsunami relief will be held Sunday April 3, 2011 in partnership with the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club, a member club of U.S. Figure Skating.  Citizens Business Bank Arena will be announcing then:

On Sunday April 3rd, 2011 the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club, Inc., in partnership with the Citizens Business Bank Arena of Ontario, California will host an afternoon of figure skating to benefit Japan tsunami relief efforts.  This event will feature competitors from around the United States, including many who train in Southern California. The event is "Skaters Care: A Benefit for Japan Tsunami Relief"

The nexus of this event comes from skating competitors expressing their desire to reach out and help the people of Japan in the way they best know how; performing on the ice.  On one magic afternoon, they will pour their hearts out on the ice in support of a nation in need. 

Because of the short time frame in putting this event together, performer commitments are still in progress, however "Skaters Care" plans to bring together some of the best competitors in all disciplines of figure skating.  For more information, check out the site, for updated performance lists.

All ticket and merchandise proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross earmarked for Japan Tsunami Relief.

Come be a part of this special event!  Tickets prices are $35, $25 and $15.  Additionally, a $5 discount per ticket is available for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased at (a convenience fee will apply) or at the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office, go to

For more information regarding the event contact Don Rabbitt at 714-348-5689 or

Citizens Business Bank Arena, built and owned by the City of Ontario, operated by AEG Facilities, includes 9,500 fixed seats with additional "portable" seating risers to accommodate capacities of 11,089 for concerts, 9,736 for ice hockey and 10,832 for basketball. The 225,000 square foot venue features 36 luxury suites located on two levels and a continuous concourse hosting a variety of refreshment stands, merchandise kiosks, a VIP club and other fan amenities. Citizens Business Bank Arena hosts ice hockey and a variety of other sporting competitions, concerts, family shows, special events, conventions, school and community activities as well as private events. The Arena is home to Ontario Reign, an ECHL Premier AA Hockey Team. The venue is the biggest and most modern arena within the Inland Empire, an area with over 4.1 million people. It is located in the City of Ontario, on a 37-acre parcel located between Haven Avenue and Milliken Avenue, Fourth Street and the I-10 Freeway.

For more information and future updates please visit:

Arena Contact:
Sue Oxarart
Marketing Director
Citizens Business Bank Arena
P - 909-244-5527 C - 909-614-3044

Citizens Business Bank Arena was the site of the recently concluded 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, and will be the site of 2011 Skate America in October of this year.  It is an intimate, fairly new facility, with good sight lines throughout the arena, and an ideal venue for skating events.

The idea of holding the benefit came from Sean Rabbitt, a Senior Men's competitor who represented the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club at the 2011 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships which was held in Greensboro, NC in January.  He told us, "When I heard the news about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, I checked on Twitter to see if there was any news of this. Sure enough many of my followers who are skating fans from Japan, were tweeting about the earthquake they had just had. Instantly skaters were tweeting about the earthquake and wondering how we could help out. Many skaters were saying they wished there was a way to quickly throw together a show to display our talents and raise money for the people of Japan, who by the way are some of figure skating's biggest and loving fans. So after a few mentions about this I talked to my dad who took it to the club, and little did I know that a few tweets from my fellow skaters could turn into such an awesome event."

Sean's father, Don Rabbitt, a past president of the club, brought the idea to current club president Audrey von Zabern and the club board earlier this week.  Said von Zabern, "After 9-11, many skaters I spoke with felt helpless.  They wanted to find some way to help and show that they cared about what was happening.  When Don called me and told me of his son Sean's idea for a skating show to benefit the Japan tsunami relief efforts, I knew we had to find a way to make it happen."

Details of the event are still coming together, but the show is expected to be scheduled from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM and will be one performance only.  The cast will include National and local competitors and several nationally know skaters have already committed to the event.  The cast will be refined next week once the ISU announces it's final decision on the fate of the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships which were to have been held in Tokyo, Japan next week, but will not be as a consequence of the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in northern Japan.  At this time there are reports of nearly 7,000 deaths and another 10,000 or more persons missing.  500,000 people are currently reported homeless in winter conditions, with food, water and fuel in short supply.  The idea for the benefit was quickly embraced by the arena, the Glacier Falls club, and the local skating community and U.S. Figure Skating officials.

As described by Don Rabbitt, "Over the past weekend, my son Sean and I were talking about the Japan tsunami disaster. Sean said that many of the skaters were tweeting various discussions back and forth, asking each other what they could do to help the people in Japan.  Some had suggested having a skating fundraiser or show.  But, some others wondered, how do you get it started?  One of them said to Sean, 'well your Dad has run some competitions, ask him.'  So when asked by Sean, I said, I'd make a few phone calls.  After consulting with Audrey von Zabern, our club's President, I called the Citizens Business Bank Arena, where we had just held 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.  I spoke with their General Manager Steve Eckerson.  I asked Steve "what would you think about donating the arena for one day and I would organize a benefit performance for Japan relief?"  I fully expected him to say, no...I don't think so.  But, to my surprise he said "I'm in!".... I about fell off my chair."

Tickets are expected to be on sale beginning next Tuesday, March 22, 2011.

Return to title page

Copyright 2011 by George S. Rossano