Hundreds of Super Star Athletes With Disabilities Take To The Ice

March 27, 2011 Updated Mar 28, 2011 at 7:59 AM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

March 27, 2011 Updated Mar 28, 2011 at 7:59 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) -- The HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo hosted SABAH's 2011 "Celebration on Ice". Hundreds of disabled athletes...took to the ice in front of thousands of friends and family. The therapeutic ice skating program has about 600 participants. The program is designed to help develop critical skills in the skaters. "Gross motor, fine motor, concentration, but I think the biggest thing I think that it does for these kids is self esteem and participating in and being able to enjoy the different things that all typical developing kids get to do. This is their big day...this is their show...this is the school play and little league all wrapped into one," said Shelia O'Brien, executive director of SABAH.

This is the 33rd annual performance and it showcases a year's worth of work and determination. Skaters ranged in age from three to 65. Former Buffalo Sabre Rob Ray is a host of the event...and he gets a ring side seat. "Seeing these kids go out there...and they are performing in front of this large crowd. You know they are accomplishing something. They have smiles on their faces that you couldn't knock off. It doesn't mater what's going on. They are going by, they are waving at the people in the stands. It is just such a great moment for them. It's pretty inspirational just sitting there watching them," Ray explained.

More than 500 volunteers worked throughout the year to make this year's Disney themed skate a success.