Milton S. Hershey ( Pictured on the left) was the first charter member of the Hershey Figure Skating Club.
Milton Hershey , in his fabulous lifetime, lived to be 88 years old, received more honors that he could shake his familiar walking stick at.
As one of the world's most successful businessmen and a noted philanthropist whose life was dedicated to the welfare of orphan boys, Mr. Hershey, naturally, would be many times cited. Mr. Hershey accepted all of his honors in stride and with proverbial grain of salt...all, that is, except in one area.
Mr. Hershey never seemd to be overly impressed with the big honors... it was the little ones that caused him to reveal his true emotions.
Take that afternoon of January 26 in 1936, when Mr. Hershey found on his desk a letter telling him that he had been named the "one and only" honorary member of the Hershey Figure Skating Club, and that he would be issued membership ticket No. 1.
Although his desk was filled with important items of big business involvements, Mr Hershey pushed it all aside and sent off a letter to Anna Mary Erdman, who was the secretary of the club.
In his letter, Mr. Hershey said that he would be proud to accept membership in the club and that he found great joy in realizing that such an honor had to be compensation for his love of his people and for his efforts to do things for them.
A year earlier, Mr. Hershey had sent word to the new club that his ice facilities, the Ice Palace and later the Arena, were available to them without charge until the club could become established financially.
He kept his word and until his death, October 14, 1945, Mr. Hershey was the No. 1 member of the Hershey Figure Skating Club.
The Hershey Figure Skating Club was formally organized in November 1934. A Board of Governors oversees the operation of the club and its programs. The club offers various programs for all levels of skaters based on the skating and test programs of the United States Figure Skating Association. Prior to the club’s formal organization an Ice Carnival was held in March of 1934. Subsequent Ice Carnivals were produced by the Hershey Figure Skating Club and occasionally featured performances by guest clubs and professionals. Each show consisted of several skating routines set to music. These included group performances as well as routines featuring only a few select skaters.