Brad Vigorito, 31, of Attleboro and Karlie Kratt, 13, of Mansfield are at different points in their figure skating careers, but they will join forces at Chace Arena in Natick this Saturday, June 23, for the the Axels for Alzheimer’s benefit show.
They will be among 15 soloists and one skating group who will perform in the show, proceeds from which will go to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
Headlining the show will be Alissa Czisny, two-time U.S. National Champion, and Sean Rabbitt, eight-time U.S. Championship competitor and Team USA member.
Vigorito, a New England Regional medalist, 2005 U.S. Junior Championships competitor and nine-time Eastern Sectional competitor, said he is “very thankful to be a part of this show and to give back to the sport by doing charity events.”
One of his proudest skating accomplishments came when he qualified as the first alternate for the 2014 Olympic trials held in Boston after a fifth-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships.
He said another was when two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan asked him and Sarah DiNardo to produce the ice skating show for the Providence Winter Lights Market and Tree Lighting ceremony.
Last summer, Vigorito was also asked to perform in Dick Button’s “Art of Figure Skating” exhibit at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Vigorito, a lifelong Attleboro resident, graduated from Attleboro High School in 2005. He currently fulfills his passion for ice skating as a member of the Skating Club of Boston’s senior Theater on Ice team and a full-time skating coach at the New England Sports Village rink in Attleboro and the Skating Club of Boston rink in Foxboro.
Unlike Vigorito, Kratt is just beginning her skating career.
A student at Qualters Middle School, Kratt has been skating for seven years and devotes about 15 hours a week to her sport. She also competed in her first regional championship last year.
Kratt will be skating to honor her grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2014, according to the event’s Facebook page.
The show’s 24-year-old director, Leah Spencer, is also familiar with the unfortunate prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Spencer’s grandmother has Alzheimer’s and her other grandmother passed away while suffering from dementia, which led to Spencer’s dedication to the fundraiser.
“It’s such a devastating disease,” Spencer said. “There’s always more research needed.”
Although her connection to the disease was an important factor, her passion for skating also drove Spencer to create the show. And she is well acquainted with the competitive nature of skating.
Spencer said that when she was 8, she begged her mother to sign her up for skating lessons because her brothers were taking them and she feared they would be better at something than her.
Spencer now lives in Providence and attends the Rhode Island School of Design, but she grew up in Andover and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016. She was the president of the skating club at UVM and captain of the figure skating team.
Like many figure skaters, Spencer had to come to the realization that her career would not lead to heights such as the Olympics. But she used that as motivation to take her passion for skating in other directions.
“My goal is to use my skating background to make a difference,” Spencer said.
If you go ...
WHAT: Axels for Alzheimer’s
WHEN: Saturday, June 23, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Chace Arena, Natick
TICKETS: $10 in advance at www.picatic.com/axelsforalz or $14 at door. All net proceeds go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
MORE INFO: www.facebook.com/axelsforalzheimers.