Freezing temperatures were offset by warm smiles on February 26th at Boston Common Frog Pond where the Young Friends hosted their second annual private skating night. Roughly 50 brave souls ventured out to skate in support of the Friends of the Public Garden and their mission to protect and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Many attendees live nearby and consider these historic green spaces to be an extension of their backyard in the urban landscape.
“It is amazing to see how many people truly care about our parks and are enthusiastically willing to support them,” said Kate Gundry, chair of the Young Friends group. “We are very fortunate to have an active and engaged community that wants to be involved – whether it is attending an event or helping to organize one, we have a great group of members who are always willing to pitch in.”
One highlight of the evening is a good example of how people lend their talents to add value to Young Friends’ events. To the delight of the crowd, two Boston-bred skaters choreographed a special performance for the occasion. Chynna Pope and Elin Schran have strong ties to the Frog Pond on Boston Common, which served as their neighborhood skating rink in their youth. From her early days skating in Boston’s oldest park, Pope went on to become an international competitive and professional figure skater. Shran was a professional skater for the Ice Capades and continues to choreograph, direct, produce and star in local shows. Both women are still involved with skating programs on the Frog Pond today.
Pope and Schran also brought a special surprise guest who kindly performed for the group. Eric Kaplan gave a dynamic solo performance. The national level competitor in freestyle and pairs lives in Rhode Island when he is not touring across the globe headlining in shows.
In addition to performing, the professionals offered basic tips and advice on mastering techniques to skaters of all levels.
The Young Friends has come together to raise goodwill and funds to assist with the work of preserving and enhancing Boston’s first public parks – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Through festive, community-oriented events, the Young Friends engages with their neighbors, getting one another involved for the betterment of the parks. If you are interested in becoming involved with this group, please call 617-723-8144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.