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Area figure skaters holding exhibition at St. Lawrence Centre Arena

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MASSENA - Some area figure skaters will be hitting the ice Saturday at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena night to prepare for an upcoming trip to Hershey, Pa. for the State Games of America, and the public is invited to come and watch the exhibition.

The Figure Skating Competitors Exhibition, which is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating and the Massena Figure Skating Club, begins at 7 p.m.

Coach Aimee Auger, who is also president of the Massena Figure Skating Club, said about 10 area skaters will be performing their competition programs before heading down to compete in the State Games of America at the beginning of August.

The State Games of America started in 1980 and this is the second time they have been held on the east coast.

“The SGA are only held once every three years and anyone who medalled at the last SGA, or their state games in those three years is invited to attend,” she said.

She said Saturday’s exhibition will allow the community to come out and support the skaters and give them a boost of confidence heading off to represent the state in Pennsylvania. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted and all money raised will go toward the athletes’ competition expenses.

“It is also a great way to let the skaters perform and get the nerves out before they go. It reminds them what it feels like. A lot of them haven’t competed in a bit because we’re a little bit in the off-season, and there are some kids that skate year-round. They learn new programs and elements in the summer,” Ms. Auger said.

The skaters are from throughout the north country area, including Massena, Potsdam, Norwood-Norfolk, Lake Placid, Malone and Canton. There is no theme on Saturday night unlike ice shows like the one held by the Massena Figure Skating Club every year.

“These are all solo performances. It’s an exhibition versus an ice show. They are usually performing individual numbers. In this case it’s competitive numbers. They are skating what they will be performing in Pennsylvania,” she said.

The skaters are from all levels.

“It’s the really good beginners that are going because they medalled in their flight, all the way through to the senior level competitors,” she said.

It’s an opportunity for the crowd to send them off to Pennsylvania with appreciation, according to Ms. Auger.

“It’s to inform the public of these skaters and their accomplishments and what they’re doing on behalf of the north country. They’re representing their club, but they are also representing the state of New York,” she said.

The State Games of America begin with opening ceremonies the night of Aug. 2 and wrap up on Aug. 4.

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