CLEVELAND, Aug. 13 Cleveland's own Quicken Loans Arena will be the site of a historic moment in sports when Olympic ice-skating champion Scott Hamilton makes his return to the ice at age 51 after more than 5 years since his last performance and his first since being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Hamilton's skating debut will be the highlight of the 10th Annual "An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends" ice show and gala, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7. The event raises funds for The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship) at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.
Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced on her show that Hamilton would be returning to the ice and would perform live again. Since then, he's spent countless hours in the gym with his trainer, called his former coach and choreographer back to the rink, and is now training daily on the ice and in the gym for his return at this event.
"Cleveland Clinic has been a part of so many major life moments for me," said Hamilton. "The medical team successfully treated me for testicular cancer and has been guiding me through my journey with a brain tumor. We've celebrated many happier milestones together too; from proposing to my wife to finding out we were pregnant. That's why it feels so right to be marking my return to the ice surrounded by the very people who brought me back to such great health at age 51 and have been with me through all of the ups and downs along the way."
The star-studded event that will be the backdrop for Hamilton's comeback will feature the talents of Cheap Trick and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, conducted by Carl Topilow, performing a special selection of songs from the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album in a concert setting. Each Cheap Trick band member is a longtime friend of Hamilton, and they are performing this special music at his personal request. Hamilton will be surrounded by fellow Olympic and professional skaters who will also perform throughout the evening.
"It is a tremendous thrill to be celebrating two milestones this year - the 10th year of this important cancer fundraiser and Scott's comeback to skating," said Derek Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D, Chairman and Director of the Taussig Cancer Institute. "We're so grateful to have Scott working actively on our behalf to raise awareness and support for key programs that give cancer patients guidance and resources along their journey."
Scott Hamilton is regarded as the most recognized male figure skater in the world. He captured the attention of the world 25 years ago with his Olympic Gold medal performances in Sarajevo and since has shared his love for the sport as a commentator, performer and best-selling author. In the 1996-97 figure skating season, Scott Hamilton began what would have been a standard twelve months of professional competitions, network television specials and tours. However, an unexpected event interrupted this routine and forever changed his life, and eventually would change the life of many others. On March 18, 1997, Scott Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Scott turned his experience with cancer into an opportunity to help others with cancer and is now a lifetime spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, where he established The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative in 1999. The CARES Initiative is comprised of three major components; the 4th Angel Mentoring Program designed to match newly diagnosed patients with trained volunteers who are also cancer survivors; Chemocare.com a unique website designed to help patients better understand the chemotherapy experience; and research funding.
This year's "An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends" will kick off with an ice show at 5 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena, and the gala follows at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Tickets for the ice show will be available beginning September 27 by visiting www.theqarena.com. Tickets to the gala benefit dinner are available by calling Liz Lindecke, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic at (216) 445-0099. More information on The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative is available by calling the CARES hotline at (216) 445-2573 or visiting www.scottcares.com.
About Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
The Taussig Cancer Institute is one of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic that group multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. More than 250 cancer specialists annually serve 26,000 cancer patients, applying the most effective techniques to achieve long-term survival and improved quality of life. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center. Founded in 1921, it is dedicated to providing quality specialized care and includes an outpatient clinic, a hospital with more than 1,000 staffed beds, an education institute and a research institute.
SOURCE Cleveland Clinic