Young skaters get a helping hand from fans

Mexican dinner fundraiser for Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa

Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa

Two young athletes in Sooke are being taken under the wing of the community. Skaters Pilar and Leonardo Maekawa, have been ice dance partners for 11 years and the tough economic climate is making it difficult for them to continue to meet the costs of training, costumes and travel.

Knowing this, local supporters have organized a Gala Mexican buffet dinner on February 25 at the Sooke Legion. The event will help the pair continue to train. Pilar and Leonardo have been residents in Sooke for the past six years. Their achievements include being B.C. Junior champion two times, the Western challenge champions and winning fifth, third and fifth place at the Canadian Nationals, and the Richard Gilbert Memorial award for outstanding artistry in Ice Dance.

“They are an asset to our community,” said one of the organizers who said they didn’t want any recognition. They were holding the benefit for the Maekawas because they wanted recognition to go to Pilar and Leonardo not themselves.

“Just call us a group of community friends,” she said.

Tickets for the Mexican buffet are available at Peoples Drug Mart. Seating begins at 6 p.m. with the final seating at 8 p.m.

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