AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — The power of ice skating will be on full display this weekend as more than 200 performers lace up skates and take the ice in a comeback show.
"I mean we have people who have cerebral palsy, we have people with totally no vision, people with congenital birth defects," said Elizabeth O'Donnell, Founder and President of Gliding Stars WNY.
They're calling this, "Thank Goodness, We're Back!" as they return for the first time since the pandemic.
"It will sure feel amazing when I perform my solo in front of everyone...there will be so many people watching me," said Lucas Guzzino, 19 of Hamburg, who's been skating since the age of four.
They're hoping for a big crowd to cheer the skaters on, seeing this is an opportunity to celebrate people who are different.
"Feeling proud of yourself. Not feeling like an outsider. When you're a 'disabled person', you're labeled your whole life," said O'Donnell, who's been doing this since 1977.
She's found that years of training on the ice can help her students tackle challenges.
"Like every part of their life. Skating helps the two right and left hemispheres talk to each other. I've seen literally thousands of kids get language that started in our program without language," said O'Donnell.
It happened for Guzzino.
"I was diagnosed with autism when I was two years old and at the time I used to be a non-verbal toddler, but when I finally acquired language and improved my behavior, things got easier," said Guzzino.
He and his peers will take the ice on March 26 at 3pm at Northtown Center at 1615 Amherst Manor Dr. in Amherst.
Tickets are $10 bought in advance, $12 at the door. To order ahead, click here or call 716-608-8345.