The Ice House of New Jersey Figure Skating Club is proud to be celebrating 15 years as a United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) approved club.
The club was originally conceived in 1997 as part of a vision by then Ice House skating school director, Lori Moran-Ditchkus. The original club was named the American Academy Figure Skating Club and boasted 25 members. The club received provisional club status early in 1998.
Moran-Ditchkus died in a plane crash the same day the club learned of their provisional approval and the future of the club was in question. Said Lori Chen “The letter from U.S. Figure Skating congratulating us on making provisional status arrived the day Lori Moran-Ditchkus died. As club secretary, I received the letter and took it to the rink with me. We couldn’t celebrate because we were all devastated by the loss of someone we loved. The board members who had been Lori’s students wanted to give up, but a few of us held the club together arguing that Lori would want this to go forward. It was a pivotal moment for the club…”
Her skating family rallied and the American Academy Figure Skating Club moved forward dedicated to the art and sport of figure skating. The club was incorporated August 28, 1998 and plans were put in place to establish a memorial competition. Held every August at the Ice House, the annual Moran Memorial Championship continues to honor Moran-Ditchkus. Her family also established a scholarship program to recognize club skaters committed to their figure skating goals as well as volunteerism in support of the club’s growth.
In 2010 the name was changed to the Ice House of New Jersey Figure Skating Club. This change established closer alignment with the members’ primary training facility, the Ice House, as well as the Ice House Skating School which now is under the direction of Craig Maurizi.
Of its original 25 members, eight individuals are still active members. These include Lori, Jim, and Tiffany Chen, Donna, Camille, and Jose Menendez, Michelle Panagakos and Joan Liotta, a USFSA gold level judge. Today the club is proud to have grown to over 170 members and is still committed to the art and sport of figure skating.