Young figure skater invited to compete nationally, and she’s asking for your help
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SHELLEY – Becoming an Olympic figure skater has been 9-year-old Elizabeth Davis’ dream since she first started skating at age four.
Elizabeth eventually started competing in hopes of fulfilling that dream and now has an opportunity to compete at the national level. After tying for first place at a regional competition in Park City, Utah last month, the Shelley native has now been invited by the U.S. Figure Skating Association to compete at the national festival in Coral Springs, Florida on June 8.
“When I found out she had a chance to go, I was shocked. Then when I found out she was invited, I was super excited, and then reality hit and I became terrified,” Katherine Davis, Elizabeth’s mom, tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Getting to Florida is not easy for Elizabeth and her family. One reason is a health challenge that first became apparent to Davis three years ago. Elizabeth was at her grandparent’s house and Davis says her daughter started acting strange.
“She asked if she could take a bath so my dad gave her one. She was talking and then went under the water and didn’t come back up,” says Davis.
Elizabeth was taken to the hospital and Davis learned her daughter had experienced a tonic seizure.
“Whenever her internal body temperature gets too high, she can’t cool off,” says Davis. “If you go jogging and you’re hot and sweaty, most people can cool themselves down. She can’t. If she gets worked up and can’t get her internal body temperature down, she won’t shake or twitch, but (her body) will just get rigid and drop.”
This makes skating somewhat of a safety risk for Elizabeth and requires constant attention from her parents.
“She has so much passion and drive for skating, but sometimes she doesn’t like to tell us when something’s not right. We remind her constantly that her safety comes first,” says Davis. “We have a cooling rag that we take with us to keep her cool.”
As a safety precaution, Elizabeth sometimes wears a helmet while she skates to protect her head.
Financial reasons also make getting to Florida difficult. She needs $3,000 to be able to attend, but Elizabeth’s family can’t afford to get there.
“Her dad works two jobs. There is no way we could make the trip,” Davis says. “Her nana is willing to take her if she can raise some of the money. She’s pulling her own weight. She’s going around offering to rake people’s yards for $10.”
As of Thursday, Elizabeth earned $30. Her family started a GoFundMe page on her behalf. They’ve raised about $1,400 since the page was created 18 days ago.
Emerson Parsons, a business owner in Idaho Falls, heard what Elizabeth was trying to do and decided to support her cause.
“We were quite impressed when we first read about Elizabeth, her figure skating talents, and accomplishments,” Parsons, owner of Snake River Escape Rooms, says. “Our staff considered making a $100 contribution to her GoFundMe account, but thought we could make a bigger impact and contribution towards her goals.”
Snake River Escape Rooms is hosting a fundraiser for Elizabeth on April 20.
“We decided to dedicate a single Saturday to Elizabeth. Every dollar we earn will be donated to Elizabeth and her travels. We calculated if our room succeeds on April 20th, between our room and her GoFundMe account, Elizabeth’s financial goals will be met,” says Parsons.
For $14 a person, you can escape the Parker Enterprises Room at Snake River Escapes and contribute to Elizabeth’s trip. Those who book ahead of time will be entered into a drawing for a Snake River Escapes T-shirt. You can also purchase clues for $1 each.
“It is so rewarding to know that you can help today’s youth thrive by simply supporting them in their activities,” Parsons says. “Elizabeth told us she would like to skate for Disney On Ice. Elizabeth is such a special young girl with such great talent. We look forward to supporting her cause and watching her succeed in figure skating.”
Snake River Escape Rooms is located at 545 Shoup Avenue, Suite 257, in Idaho Falls. If you’d like to book an appointment, click here.
“The community support has been awesome so far,” says Davis. “She’s working really hard to get where she wants to go. So to have that community support means a lot to her and all of us.”
If you’d like Elizabeth to rake your yard, text Katherine Davis at (208) 541-6025. You can also donate to Elizabeth’s GoFundMe page here.
Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.