Friday bowling event to help fund local skaters’ trip to World Roller Skating Championships

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roller skating
Lansing teen Sami Krusza competes at a world skating championship in 2021. (Photo provided)
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By Carrie Steinweg

LANSING, Ill. (September 7, 2022) – The Lynwood Skate Club out of Lynwood Roller Rink is again sending some of its members to the World Championships. A fundraising event will be held this Friday evening at Lan-Oak Lanes to help pay for the trip for three teens to travel to the 2022 World Skate Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The bowling

Tickets to the fundraising event, taking place from 7 – 9:30 p.m. are $30 and include two hours of bowling, shoes, and a buffet dinner of pasta, sandwiches and sides. Beverages will be available for purchase. There will also be a silent auction, raffles and a 50/50 raffle.

Money raised at the event will go toward the costs of travel to Argentina and participation in the World Skate Games for Lillian Gardner, 15, Sami Krusza, 18, and Anita Ramos, 19. All three qualified to advance as part of a quartet (the fourth member lives in Missouri) at the National Championships, which were held in Lincoln, Nebraska in July.

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The champions

Krusza is from Lansing and is a TF South graduate. She started skating at age three and has been competing since age four. Gardner is formerly of Lansing and attended St. Ann School. She also began skating at age three. She now resides in Cedar Lake. Ramos lives in Chicago’s west suburbs.

“We did this fundraiser last year and decided to do it again. People can enjoy themselves and raise funds for them to go to Argentina,” said Amy Gardner, Lillian’s mom. “We don’t have a specific goal in mind, but it’s very expensive for them to go, so we’re just trying to raise as much as we can for them.”

The costs for each skater are about $5,000, said Gardner, although the total depends on how long they stay. Because both Gardner and Krusza will be competing in multiple events, they will be there for the full 16 days of the competition. This is Gardner’s second year competing at the World Skate Games and Krusza’s fourth time.

The competition covers a number of roller skating events, with inline hockey, roller freestyle, skateboarding, and inline alpine being a few of them. Gardner and Krusza will compete in the Artistic category. The games cover all ages, but are broken into two age brackets — the junior division (age 12-18) and the senior division (age 19 and above). This will be Krusza’s last year competing in the junior division for her solo events.

Gardner and Krusza will each participate in junior solo dance and junior free skating. The two will then compete as part of a quartet with Ramos. Because Ramos is 19, the entire team must compete in the senior category. Despite competing against older adults, the quartet earned gold at the National Championships.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Sami. It was her first year competing in solo dance and she won gold. And it was her second year that she won junior singles free skating. They also won quartet, so she came home with three gold medals at the national level. She’s one of the best in the country,” said her mother, Susan Krusza. Sami is also juggling college along with training and competing while attending at Valparaiso University.

“We are so happy — all of the families are happy for them for reaching their goal of making it to the world championships,” said Gardner. “We’re so proud of their dedication and hard work that they’ve put into the sport and they’ve done so well. And we’re proud that they’re representing the United States.”

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the door on Friday at Lan-Oak Lanes. Those who cannot attend the bowling fundraiser will have another opportunity to support the athletes on October 8 at Lynwood Roller Rink from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

“People can come and skate and they’ll do an exhibition of their routines,” said Gardner. To make a donation to the team, send an email to [email protected].

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Carrie Steinweg is a freelance writer, photographer, author, and food and travel blogger who has lived in Lansing for 27 years. She most enjoys writing about food, people, history, and baseball. Her favorite Lansing Journal articles that she has written are: "Lan Oak Lanes attracts film crew," "Why Millennials are choosing Lansing," "Curtis Granderson returns home to give back," "The Cubs, the World Series, fandom, and family," and "Lansing's One Trick Pony Brewery: a craft beer oasis."