With her spotlight purring like an old projector, Linda Yao ’10 used a steady hand to follow the cast of famed figure skaters as they shaved graceful ribbons into the ice during “An Evening with Champions.” “La Vie en Rose,” sung by Louis Armstrong, played over the loudspeakers, and a kaleidoscope of light bathed the ice.

Over 40 years, the skating event has raised $2.4 million for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Brett Michael Giblin ’11, who co-chaired the event, said, “I truly believe that the reason this weekend was such a rousing success, from the incredible skating to the nearly perfect execution, was due to the fact that our volunteers were able to keep the objective that they were working toward — helping children with cancer — in the forefront of their minds.”

The event struck a personal chord with 2006 Olympics skater Emily Hughes ’11, who first visited Harvard to participate in the event in 2006 to pay tribute to her mother, a cancer survivor. Hughes said, “I’m happy and excited that I can do this every year, and that it can go to a worthy cause. Cancer research has a more personal feel for me.”

An Evening with Champions

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Shadow dancing

    Shadow dancing

    Paul Wylie '91 and 1976 Olympic medalist Dorothy Hamill move under the spotlight during the 40th anniversary of the Jimmy Fund benefit "An Evening with Champions," sponsored by Harvard.

  • Get a leg up

    Get a leg up

    All at once Emily Hughes '11 dips low and aims high.

  • Sisters in arms

    Sisters in arms

    Dazzling bodices and frilly dresses are just a few pleasures of skating. Here, members of Team Excel Junior, which features skaters from 18 New England regions, manage to be both identically dressed and distinctive.

  • There is a light

    There is a light

    Linda Yao '10, wearing her winter coat, operates the spotlight for skaters. Hey, it's an ice rink after all!

  • A shoulder to drape on

    A shoulder to drape on

    Kimberly Navarro rides the back of partner Brent Bommentre.

  • Ice blue

    Ice blue

    An expansive shot of the Bright Hockey Center displays the color, whirlwind, and fun of the night's event.