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Elizabeth O'Donnell

Jun 4, 2013|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is the -- report a program that takes an inside look at Western New York with news features and special guest. Now here's your host Brian rusk. Welcome -- the -- for me him that the planning we have -- tremendous leader who helps. Young people there. Physical mental emotional and multiple challenges to ice skate. And she's been doing this now for over thirty years I'm referring to Elizabeth O'Donnell. And she's a part of -- stars addictive ice skating programs and one or slogans has become a part of our galaxy the sparkle of gliding so Islamic available about the background. -- stars isn't national leader in adaptive -- -- our founder today -- O'Donnell with us on the Ross reporting in fifteen twining. Began teaching people with physical mental emotional or multiple challenges to ice skate. In 76 in buffalo. Organize for national expansion of these programs in 94. Colliding stars provides weekly again it ice skating lessons. A -- it skating equipment volunteer training. Intense. Ice volunteer support and the thrill of performing for the public in an annual ice show it's a wonderful program. I've been following her career. For many years and it's through the humanitarian. And educational effort -- today. Elizabeth O'Donnell now you're trying to set up more chapters. Throughout the United States and I believe candidate to. YE do we need these chapters where do you wanna have them what's the importance of expanding. Throughout the US and Canada. Well we know what a great job that does for the children themselves their families we started eighteen months just one half years old go up through adulthood I think 72 -- -- all the students this year. And it's just great everything that happens stronger physically better balance better coordination. Skills that can be transferred into jobs situations social skills. And so it's in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida and New York. So why not other places of -- won our chapters just had I think its eleventh anniversary this year. And when we moved there there was literally nothing in the entire city for a child with a disability or an adult with a disability to do that was sports. And we all know home the lessons of sports the disciplined focus. All kinds of things great things happen when you do a sport and they're still communities in America today that don't have opportunities. For people with disabilities to get the lessons from the benefits of sports so we'd like to be wherever ice -- Pretty much any news has got nice -- as a potential community for -- star chapter. Okay I'm Elizabeth. We normally from Montreal for northern Florida west the Mississippi we get letters are ways. Scandinavian New Zealand for the last thirty years and the -- report -- 1520. Where should people call you email you write you they wanna set up a chapter. For these and challenged young people to do well and grow and develop. In all these ways so colliding -- dot org is probably the easiest way to find us we have our phone number is 7166088345. And we do have a toll free number that works. For folks to call us a toll free 1877. Two to 31952. Almost a year I was born. -- Now it's our last email here how about email aggressor on it's it's. Minus sign. And there's all kinds of content to buttons across. The bars on the website that make it really easy you can learn about the various chapters that we have you learned about in depth of equipment that we made it. Literally gets gators out of wheelchairs and off crutches and on for the -- so we've had to develop and over the years because nothing really existed. So come and find us at the colliding Steris dot org website. Got a lot of good information about the program and then obviously we have packets after we talked to you if you're really interested. And starting a chapter will talk to you about the different steps that need to be taken to make that a reality. OK again the website and -- number place. Website colliding stars dot org tool free 18772231950. Two. Very good it's a wonderful program again for those who just tuned in. It's called gliding stars adaptive ice skating programs we have the founder -- today. Elizabeth O'Donnell who has been a pioneer helping. These people with physical mental emotional multiple challenges to ice skate and she's been doing it for decades he or she looks much younger -- it's cute thank you. Okay let's talk a little bit about your background what is special and the last thirty years -- you been doing. And how -- rights to giving these are young people a chance to grow and develop. Well I've been -- -- my whole life. And as I got older and I realized. I had people that were from family friends that had disabilities I had a childhood friend who's younger brother was. I realized that I all the benefits that I gained from ice skating could be extended. Two people with various challenges whether it's true policy traumatic brain injury spend a definite. Different levels of mental challenges emotional issues we work with a lot of children who weren't Foster care at the very least appear in Foster care you have. Emotional disabilities because it takes so much. To get a child out of a situation. It's so severe generally when a child winds up in Foster care what's happened to them. Has been so traumatic. Emotionally physically psychologically. At the very least you've -- emotional disabilities. So we we serve people and all those categories. And what happens is. They learned the lessons of ice skating and that can -- applied to greater life situations. Maybe your afraid but you do it anyway. Maybe -- afraid somebody's gonna hold your hand kick you along lead to a long. You can't ice skate without gaining strength balance and coordination it's slippery here on these little bitty skinny -- he got to move across. This theory. You know cold smooth surface and continue to balance and be able to than do other skills. So all of those transfer over its whole body sport which -- skating particularly good for therapy. And I've been doing this for 37. Years now I've seen. Just remarkable things happen top 57 kids how to walk and came to us in which order they used her special -- that's very exciting. The Sherri did some rehabilitative work with 44 year old man. In the Boston area who had some arguments -- yep we maximize -- excuse well -- plan and we like Massachusetts. And he had a stroke 44 very young -- completely lost his left side. So a year later his wife found me on the Internet talk to me about the special locker with a bar seat. And I drove it over to -- got some of this hockey Franz he's a hockey coach and hockey player. His fifteen year old twin boys run on the ice with us. His other son. And we got them out of the wheelchair and around the locker and he stood up and I said take a breath barrier on the -- again he did six steps the first day he did 65 feet. The second day and he never could have gotten on the ice without the walker I decided it was like I was so glad I made that locker and I got to see him get out of the wheelchair. And back on the ice with his young boys and he's doing better so there's a rehabilitate -- aspect to what we do that's very very profound. And there's other people out there that it had a hand head injury have had a stroke have lost some form of their balance that with this equipment they can actually. Get back on the ice and start to increase their rehabilitation and get back to the life that they have a capability of living. Now Elizabeth O'Donnell if somebody were. Give a donation of 500 dollars or 101000 dollars which is completely tax deductible as -- star's -- it. I skiing programs is a 501 C three registered charity in your state and federally how can they send a check and to whom we should me made payable. -- just lighting stars and it can come to our offices at thirteen 07 military road in Buffalo, New York which has won four. 217. So it's 1307. Military road. In Buffalo, New York 1421. Salmon. That's. Headquarters whenever donors actually helped us spies so it's stronger overhead by. 38% a year that for you and when we pay it off in the next seven years it's gonna shrink it by. You know 25000 dollars ears it's ostensibly to keep Poehler cast of the dollar equipment there in our offices and at all levels -- completely accessible for. Our students that come there. -- Give the address again in the appropriate number -- someone wants to make information supplied links terrorists and that is. 18772231952. And it is 1307. Military road in Buffalo, New York 14217. And a great young pioneer who helps young people with physical mental emotional and multiple challenges to ice skate Elizabeth O'Donnell. The founder of -- stars adaptive ice skating programs is with us today. This is all over the country. They have chapters in New York Pennsylvania or Ohio and Florida are colliding stars -- and it is a tax deductible. Charity so you can take that after Texas are -- wonderful program. And we have about two 750 volunteers nationwide and me on the program happened. Most of our chapters run completely on volunteers support so we're incredibly efficient. And we get a lot of work done with. A very sincere and dedicated effort it takes a consistent effort to really change somebody's life it's not just to casual through the kids on the -- you know. Have fun for the afternoon you've got to get them all exactly fitted with the right kind of skate right kind of equipment. With the right kind of locker harness that helmet and get him out there and we have usually two to one volunteer support the volunteers are trained. They work really hard to -- helped her start with -- skaters stars. To become the best that they can be we start out the class is cheering I can do it I can ski each skater. Cheers that out and then that I show is a wonderful way for their families to. Enjoy them and enjoy there. Their successes and a lot of times you've got. The child with a disability in the family and their brother or sister or other siblings have a dance recital and made play Little League and they. You are in the school play -- there in the swim meet but the child with a disability doesn't have those experiences. So the show creates that. And I I think it's very important that there's not competition. That it's everyone celebrates their successes and the show does that. Really believe in competition for this population. And my. Almost four decades of this I think that the show is a much more holistic helpful in healing kind of way of celebrating accomplishment. Wonderful to be very fulfilling. For those are just tuned in today our guess is the founder and president of -- stars adapted by skating programs Elizabeth M O'Donnell. And I'd like to thank those who called regarding a recent gas Edgar Mitchell astronaut -- as one of the eleven -- then on the moon. Also Fred -- Michael broken talking about the -- care programs -- being in college and -- faster air chairman's we hear coming up. -- -- with the polish exchange programs with payment college. Cherish -- doctor -- urged the president Franklin. Pierce university in New Hampshire and sister di Pasquale is gonna talk about. Young inner city minority women and how she gives them a second chance. On the Ross report and in fifteen when he -- listening in buffalo or Toronto or Washington or 50000 watts. Clear channel power prophecy no please write to Brian -- gain 1520. 500 corporate parkway suite 200 Buffalo, New York 14226. -- -- cards and letters were. Canadian European listeners little bit more information about. Colliding stars they also have -- stars affiliates in Michigan. And also Kitchener Ontario. Colliding stars as the leader named after ice skating. They provide weekly adaptive ice skating lessons to be active skating equipment -- your training intense. Ice. Bouncers support throw performing for the public in an annual hi Cheryl. Our guest today that founder. And president Elizabeth -- O'Donnell on the roster for an AM fifteen money. Let's who talk a little bit about more of years services. I mentioned that device skating lessons adept -- skating equipment bound to training. Let's talk food more but the services you provide Elizabeth and mowed down crying stars so if. Skeeter comes into one of our programs the first processes assessing them you know do they have a normal flight to they have a foot that pro donates which means when they -- -- stand. And rolls over in flattens out there's no -- I have the -- that I designed for that kind of a foot. We work with Riddell large manufacturer in Minnesota. To manufacture our designs and we also have one for what's called an AM follow at some RGO. Which basically looks like a big piece of plastic -- goes on the back of the -- Underneath the foot it's hard plastic it's metal hinges and the skaters the child's play is all crude into it. Very difficult to fit in shoes of any type and certainly skate so I've designed to skate. That exactly matches in a file you're looking at the feet first what's going down -- what's the dynamic of the fight. If you have cerebral palsy spine a -- -- traumatic brain injury. Very often your hand and -- Palestine and -- where a child is born with a hole in the spine can be anywhere along the spine. Lamar. Thoracic cervical and the problems start from there down. Wherever the it injury as a tub with the birth defect that actually I don't know what the numbers are but we have a lot of them are programs. So that's the first thing as the skates than you look at what the gate of the skeeter how to they walked and they walked to they need the regular walker small medium and large how taller they. Do they need the -- walker do they now week here at all. We've -- kids out of the wheelchair put him into the slain -- walker and teach them how to get there. Leg going against the new working to get the quadriceps working in the format muscles of the thigh. And create some motion on the ice the ice is slippery this custody of the ice worked very very well. For skaters who do who have limited movement. Sometimes a skater like that's the first time they ever moved on around they're being pushed around in a wheelchair and all every moment of their life they get on the ice it's a slippery. There and the little things see things get their legs movement. -- toes -- and who great look on the face of very exciting very thrilling to see that happen. Then there's of our seat in various of sizes and have a -- heat stabilizers that we also designed so we work with manufacturers in Minnesota. And in Syracuse to make our designs to our specifications. We how examiner -- products company. We get the skier on the ice with everything here she needs so they can have the most successful. Most positive possible experience. So it's one of those things again it's not casual and assess the skaters got -- train people in each of the chapters how to do that what they're looking for an afoot dynamic. Engage in the neat. With that gentleman I was telling you about earlier who had a stroke and teaches suns have a lineup is weak side how to balance his hockey skate between their knees. How to help assistant so he could lift himself off the seat in the back and get up and get moving. -- it was really exciting to work with him. When you're working on -- everyone's seen pictures of the rails and -- learning how to lock up these. Rails in the air lifting their flat as that are you only need a -- -- an inch clearance to get that -- -- in your skate in need to image -- got to blame them there Elam there. Start lifting your leg up four inches so he could get going. And it was really exciting to see. His family video laying them on their fallen the first time back on the ice after having a stroke and he almost lost his life. So it was very exciting and I'd like to do more of that if there's anybody is listening is and that. Physical therapy or occupational therapy rehabilitative world. I'd like to bring videos of this man and that locker to a conference somewhere where there -- but somebody out there does and -- and. Here are offering numbered and somebody. He has the opportunity for you to help and that way. 8772231952. -- just there's a lot of contact buttons on the planet star stat or web site. There's only two of us in the office we're gonna get every even all the -- and we're going to be able to communicate with you. Okay our guest again is the founder and president of gliding Steris. And get that ice skating programs. They're headquartered in buffalo new York and again we encourage all our listeners if you're listening in northern Florida. Montreal buffalo please give and give generously this is a tax deductible organization of 51 C three -- -- accused. These young people second chance who have these different physical challenges. Again if your thoughts are kind of split Eric Brian Ross came 152500. Corporate parkway suite 200 -- -- -- are 14226. We appreciate the letters were received as far -- Scandinavian New Zealand. -- am 1520. A little more information about -- stars. Specially designed Walker's skates create the opportunity for skaters. Challenged by disabilities to experience ice skating standard Walker's -- fixed -- work well for beginners. In learn to -- programs they are made of well that powder quoted tubular steel durable unfold store's specialty -- include -- -- and swing seat walkers it's really. A wonderful program for people with physical mental emotional. Or multiple challenges to ice skate. With our founder and president Elizabeth M O'Donnell. -- did you wanna say something more about donations at the cost of these programs. Well we know that costs -- probably somewhere between 700000. Dollars a year per skater and we provide. All the equipment -- the ice time the insurance. And the cast in -- you know to be in this there's no. Fees for any of those things for the skaters the families that can afford it. Harry asked to pay around 150 dollars for the 26 week season. And if they can't afford to pay at them -- given a scholarship I've never in my 37 years ever turned anyone away because of their inability to pay. But the families that can we think it's kind of important that they have some skin in the game. And they then are contributing to the to the pot. Two make that happen ice time is expensive probably Florida's the most expense of ice time in an effort chapters because the energy rates are so high down there. But the -- tens of pretty pretty hefty -- per year the insurance is pretty hefty. Per year we have 700 volunteers which means were incredibly cost effective you know to keep this. Program happening and a lot of miracles happen on the -- anything you could contribute. Makes you part of that makes you part of that energy of those miracles and and helps us in some way to further analyze of the skaters that we're allowed to serve. Now let's couple -- about the progress and you can tell of some success stories -- colliding stars that they have to ice skating programs. I understand that these stars. Do you call them stars learned important skills and help them improve balance coordination endurance let's talk about some success stories with lighting startled. One girl in particular comes to mind named Christa and she was diagnosed with autism very young very intense diagnosis. She spent the first year at age three screaming every single week to screaming their -- out it was just too much stimulation people and you know everything was strange to her and her parents god bless them did not give up. They just kept coming down from Warren said don't let it bother you would have bothered me that she's agreement -- figured out of mentally that. Everything's going to be fine here. She was told her parents were told that she would never read. She would never do math she's been my students for over seventeen years so far. And she recently is in college she did learn how to read to Denard had a right she got the award additional she's at ECC right now. And she got the award as the hardest working senior analyst at Williams the high school I don't remember whether it's north or south. But she also has become such an accomplished skater that she does solo with Bradley tunnel in. Washington DC. And she is just a delightful young girl. She graduated with -- National Honor Society scholarship -- -- and have tourists again I was and understand but I never made a National Honor Society to earlier she was told to never give now -- Totally changed the complete trajectory of her life. So she's one of the chapters in the book that I am working on right now. And I want families and right now families all over America. Harry have somebody who's got an artistic diagnosis and the family and they are being told all these dreadful things. And I would like people to know that that just ain't necessarily so -- not necessarily the only outcome that's potential. For a child that has not his and they can learn to integrate and -- Christa we'll say. Very often the discipline that she learned from ice skating taught her how to be good student because I skated to focus she had that. And move the distractions out she had that focus on exactly what was going on at the pure middle type activity against certain layers. Skills on the bottom level and then you can increase it to mark complex -- of that and more complex and more complex at -- complex and she can actually do. 360 degree jobs in the air and landing on one adds -- Scotland another. And that's that takes a lot of mental focus and discipline and she applied -- to school became the hardest working senior National Honor Society. Merit scholar in college. Employed at gases market over in my -- now on just a delightful delightful young girl incredibly creative -- children's stories. Made I shall theme for our show last year through all the pictures came up with the theme. Of one year with magic and this year was Atlantic series goes on vacation and we chose her fame and gave for a credit and the program. So there's a lot of very powerful things that happen I've been very very fortunate to have students who stayed with me for. 101520. Years. And I get to see their lives completely changed it's very very exciting to watch that and to be friends with them as young. Young men and young women now as they've gotten older story. Again if somebody may be listening in at Pennsylvania Ohio Toronto. New Hampshire Vermont and they'd like to. Start guiding stars champ care or being affiliate or partner how to go about it Elizabeth Hamilton now. That please contact us through the colliding stars stat or web site her phone number is 716608834. Or five. Total three. 18772231952. Email. And we'll work with you we have seven successful chapters three in New York to an Ohio one in Pennsylvania won an Orlando and we would love to. Double bad and triple that and -- and then every ice rink around and I have anything in Massachusetts. And Vermont Massachusetts and let's go. Let's talk about equipment design this equipment market this equipment from the US and candidate what is this equipment for these. Young people who have these challenges to scale well when I started there just wasn't any equipment out there -- -- -- companies that it was pretty good that they were 3000 dollars a pop so that started to. My breath away. And and we wound up now working with the dad who welded my designs in his basement. And then eventually we settled on the does designs of the basic model but RC walker the -- seat. Condom manufacturer in Syracuse who ran an American manufacturer. So we can control the density and thickness of the steel so that could be strong armed. -- properly powder coated. And there -- there. And very very important and integral part of the success of the program as having the right equipment. For each skater and getting them out there we work with -- An American state company's fourth generation. Of the Minneapolis area just north of Minneapolis and red wing. And they manufacturers skate designs and yes I've personally designed. All the lockers and all the skates. To solve what was needed over the years is to drop on the napkins my father Italy in the basement he was the surgeon and he was a pretty. He and the guy and he taught but the girls and boys and her family how to use related tools so that was very helpful to me over the years having. Backgrounds like that sort of thing mechanically and and make these things in basically an entrepreneur -- heart. Took my skills with skating and my love of skating and -- share with others -- just kept pretty persistent 37 year and just. He. Slogan here and we rich to blossom here around him way. And as I can do it I can skate twenty seconds. IE get these kids that do. Well I can do -- I can skate is the real motto of the program making them believe in themselves and then giving them whatever they need it's not a one size that solid early on is indeed something different them -- -- I was cerebral palsy. Then with the child was born with -- and if that are the ones coming out of Foster care. You know the walking wounded emotionally disturbed psychologically disturbed child but basically if you create a safe loving environment. You pushed them to be the best they can be and you support them along the way magic is gonna happen. How can serve to bring the roster for. To a close we've learned so much by this inspirational leader. The founder and president of gliding stars Elizabeth M O'Donnell special thanks to Kevin Kerr director production for the last fifteen years and we encourage our listeners to give and give generously to this 51 C three tax deductible organization. Thank you for being let us Elizabeth O'Donnell have a great week thanks YouTube brand. You've been listening to the -- report a program that takes an inside look at the western new York community with news features and special guests. If you have any comments or suggestions please write to Brian rusk 500 corporate parkway. Suite 200 Amherst New York 14226.

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