TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - For the past eight years, Gliding Stars Toledo has been giving kids with special needs a platform to do something most kids can't, and this year is no exception.
"So we actually had a daughter who was special needs, and we are an ice skating/hockey family, so we wanted to find a program that would teach her how to ice skate, and that's where it started," said Terri Himmel, chapter coordinator for Gliding Stars Toledo.
That's how Bill and Terri Himmel brought this nationwide adaptive ice skating program to Toledo.
It's a 26-week program that starts in the fall. Over 60 volunteers work with more than 30 stars, teaching them to skate and putting together the end of the season show.
For first-year star Brent Keween, his routine is simple.
"I do my hop and my spin, and that's it," he said.
Brent, along with the other stars, take the ice, performing in front of their friends and family and looking at those familiar faces with a sense of pride and of course gratitude.
"I say one thing, I said thank you my brothers, and my dad and my mom, my friend Kimmy and my step-dad Kevin," Keween said.
It's a program Himmel says gives these stars a skill most kids their age don't have.
"A lot of these stars don't get to be included in other activities, and this gives them a place to learn something that a lot of things kids don't know how to do. Many people don't know how to ice skate, and watching them smile, amazing," Himmel said.
If you're interested in volunteering or signing up for Gliding Stars Toledo, click here or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.