Gliding Stars, Inc. was originally founded in 1994 by Elizabeth M. O’Donnell. Ms. O’Donnell is an accomplished figure skater who turned her talents toward providing an extensive program of adaptive ice skating for people of all ages and challenges. She did this so that they could experience a part of normal life and the life-changing effects of regular exercise, social interaction, teamwork, family sharing, and a few hours of fame during the end-of-season Ice Extravaganza performance!
Their organization consists of a national headquarters, two products companies and local Chapters who provide on-ice instructional programs to members of many communities who are challenged by a variety of physical, mental and emotional disabilities. They are a registered tax-exempt charity under the IRS regulation 501(c)(3) and are also registered as such in our various States of operation.
The Chapters are managed by Coordinators with the assistance of many volunteers, specially trained on-ice instructors and community donors. It is in the Chapters where the special on-ice activity takes place during a typical 12 to 26 week skating season. At the end of each season, each Chapter provides a publicly-attended ice show to showcase the accomplishments of the participants and volunteers, and to provide the thrill of performing in a public, musical ice-dancing fantasy as incentive for all participants – a goal that inspires each of them during the season.
The Chapters use adaptive products specially designed and manufactured for Gliding Stars to assist them in their skating. These products provide an advantage on the ice for people who otherwise even have trouble standing or walking. Therefore, the products “level the playing field” and provide the opportunity for people with many types of challenges the magic of ice skating, and even ice dancing!