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Paralympic Sport Club
STARskaters is a USOC Paralympic Sport Club
Normally this newsletter is issued 4 times per year but this summer has been so packed with activities, and with three upcoming special events just around the corner, we are sending you this event bulletin edition.

The loss of the Houston AEROS left more than a hole in the Houston Hockey community, it also left a large gap in funding for STARskaters programs.  STARskaters produced the last two MILITARY NIGHTS for the AEROS and the funds raised, in addition to benefiting our vets, raised 30% of the annual STARskaters budget.

To close the gap, the following fundraiser have been scheduled for September 20th.  Click each event name for complete details.
In addition, on September 14th the Austin Blades, the new STARskaters Sled Hockey chapter in Austin, is holding 3 on 3 Hockey tournament

The purpose of the tournament is to raise funds to send their players to the 2014 Sled Hockey National Championships to be held in Boston.

You'll also read about the Pasadena Wheelchair Kids Camp, the 2013 Abilities Expo, Sled Hockey Weekend part deaux, Sled Hockey on Wheels, a report from and about reporter Jessie Chan and more in this issue.

And, as always if you know of anyone who could benefit from any of our programs, please click the link below to FORWARD TO A FRIEND.


Jim O'Neill
A U.S. Paralympic Sport Club

3 on 3 at New Pond Hockey Rink
Pond Hockey
STARskaters's Austin Blades Sled Hockey chapter will be christening the new POND HOCKEY club in Austin by hosting their first ever 3 on 3 hockey tournament, Saturday September 14th.

The tournament is open to players of all ages and skill levels, and is just $85 with all proceeds to help the Austin Blades players travel to next years National Sled Hockey Championships in Boston Mass.

Click here for more information and to register for the tournament.

The tournament is sponsored by the Austin Pain Associates, Chaparral Ice,  Discount Electronics, Deluxe Auto Service, Quantum Digital, and the Texas Stars Foundation.

For more information about the Austin Blades Sled Hockey Club, contact
Join STAR at the 1st Annual Zebra Open Golf Classic
Hihoa Zebra 300 "When Hockey and Golf Collide"

HIHOA, the Houston Ice Hockey Official's Association is a long time supporter of, which was founded by Jim O'Neill, a 15 year USA Hockey Referee

Friday afternoon, September 20th, HIHOA is hosting the "Zebra Open" Golf Classic at Southwyck Golf Course.  The early bird discount price is just $60 until September 9th, and then increases to $89 with registration ending on September 12th.   To register or for more info, click here.

The idea for the golf tournament stated when HIHOA members heard of the upcoming funding shortfall at STARskaters caused by the departure of the Houston AEROS hockey club. 

The tournament registration is presently 50% full and includes many long time Houston area hockey players and officials.  Hole Sponsorships are also available.  CLICK HERE for all the tournament details.

Tournament sponsors include: Allegiant Pools, AFGlobal, Belknap Concrete, Canadian Club of Houston, FabCo, GalvestonGuy Condo Rentals, HIHOA, Sports Star USA, Sugar Land Imperials Hockey Club, and Westheimer Plumbing,
SkateTherapy Gala Dinner, Auction and Ice Show
Skate Therapy Logo September 20th is going to be a very busy day for STARskaters as both the SkateTherapy and Sled Hockey programs will be hosting fundraisers.

Sugar Land Ice will be the scene of the first ever Gala dinner, auction and ice skating performance to support the SkateTherapy program which has recently doubled their Saturday morning ice time to accommodate more students.

Melissa Wilson FOX26's Melissa Wilson will host the event which will be held on the ice at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center from 7-9pm on Friday, September 20th. Entire tables are available for purchase as Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsorships as well as individual tickets for $50.  CLICK HERE for more information or to register for the event.

"Celebrate the 2014 Olympics" is the theme and a BBQ dinner will be served. A fundraising auction will be held and there will also be an ice skating performance by the figure skating club as well as several of the SkateTherapy students.

We hope you will join us for this first ever event to allow you to see for yourself the life changing impact the SkateTherapy program has on the students, their families and their instructors.   
Ice Skate USA Hosts Pasadena Wheelchair Kids Camp 
Kids Camp 2013
When Houston temperatures hit 100 degrees there is no COOLER place to be than on the ice at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall.

For the second year in a row, the folks at Ice Skate USA donated ice time to allow kids and young adults from the Pasadena Wheelchair Youth Camp to take the ice and give Sled Hockey a try.  They even played a 3 on 3 Sled Hockey scrimmage and had a penalty shot contest where everyone got the opportunity to take a shot at the goalie.

Some of the kids opted to stay in their wheelchairs and whiz around the ice and enjoy the COOL ice skating experience.  Whether in a sled, or chair, all of them had one thing in common, a big smile and THANK YOU cheer for Carl Sasyn and the rest of the ice skating professionals at Ice Skate USA who made this event possible.

The Wheelchair Kids Camp is another in a long series of STARskates which was the original purpose of when founded by Jim O'Neill in 2008.  The original purpose of the non-profit was "to provide an on-ice experience for individuals with disabilities".
2013 PW Camp GroupSince that time STARskaters programs have expanded to also include Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy and in 2012 held over 130 events including program events, exhibits, camps, STARskates and outreach events.

Even more amazing, ALL of these events were made possible by VOLUNTEERS, as is a 100% volunteer organization. 

As you can imagine, it takes an army of volunteers to make it happen.  If you'd like to join this group of amazing folks, visit and click on the VOLUNTEER tab.
STARskaters at Abilities Expo
Abilities Expo 2014 For the second year in a row, STARskaters both attended and exhibited at the Abilities Expo at Reliant Center,

Special thanks to 20/20 exhibits for donating the exhibit booth used by STARskaters for the Abilities expo event.  

This years Expo was held from  August 2nd to 4th, and featured a wide range of products, goods & services and programs tailored to benefit individuals with disabilities.

STARskaters exhibited both the Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs and several athletes, students and parents were on hand at the STARskaters booth to inform and explain the programs to prospective participants. Neil Abilities Expo 2013

In addition, STAR held a "Sled Hockey on WHEELS" demonstration where several Sled Hockey players from Houston and Austin participated in a Sled Hockey demonstration.  Many Expo attendees got the opportunity to get into a sled and try out the sport.  
For more information on next year's show, visit
Sled Hockey STARS Shine 

Jessie Chan In 2007, while STARskaters was just an idea, Jessie Chan started skating at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall.  One Saturday while she was practicing, she saw the Sled Hockey team practicing and it made such an impact on her, she was compelled to write an article for her high school paper entitled "Sled Hockey STARS Shine on Ice"  CLICK HERE to read the entire story.  
In May, SkateTherapy was featured in U.S. Figure Skating's magazine, and that has sparked interest from rinks across the country.
Yohe Sled Hockey
Andy Yohe, Captain of the 2010 Gold Medal USA National Olympic Team coaches up Team Texas Sled Hockey 
Not only is Jessie a talented writer, as is evidenced by her article on Sled Hockey, she is also an experienced figure skating instructor.  In 2010, she became a Junior Figure Skating Coach and began teaching Basic Skills Learn-to-Skate classes at Ice Skate USA. In 2011, she became the Skater Representative and Editor-in-Chief of Newsletter of her figure skating club, the Memorial FSC of Houston. Recently, she began her role at Ice Skate USA as a Student Reporter, which has allowed her to further develop her creative writing and business skills in a broader work environment.

Jessie displays a presence, talent and "take charge" attitude well beyond her years and has recently also taken on the role of writing social media articles for which can be viewed on their Facebook page.  CLICK HERE to follow her work on Facebook. 
Austin, Dallas & Houston Players Clash at Sled Hockey Weekend 

Sled Day2 2013
For the first time in the history of Sled Hockey in Texas, players had the opportunity to skate at three different venues on both blades and wheels in a 2 day period during Sled Hockey weekend and the Abilities Expo.

The Sled Hockey Weekend series continued as players from Austin, Dallas and Houston honed their skills under the direction of sled guru Alfredo Corona (shown above in the Dallas jersey).  The scrimmages are intended to prepare all the the players for the 2014 National Sled Hockey Championships to be held in Boston, Massachusetts.
Andy New Sled
Andy Noland discovered Sled Hockey
at Abilities Expo 2012

The ice times at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City and Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center featured spirited competition and hard hitting action as all players knew that only 10 players can be selected to travel to Boston for next years national tournament.

The weekend ended with a Sled Hockey on Wheels demonstration at the Abilities Expo where experience players showed off their sled skills and invited new interested prospective players to give the sport a try.  Each year new players are recruited from the event to join the program..
FOX26 Features SkateTherapy
SkateTherapy on FOX26
SkateTherapy on FOX26

Sponsors Needed
Sled Hockey, Therapeutic Skating, Brochures and Web

If you'd like to support our Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs as a sponsor, we have many ways to get the word out about your business:
  • Web ads
  • Newsletter promotion
  • Event signage
  • Sled signage
  • T-shirt logos
  • Jersey sponsorship
  • Printed brochures
  • Electronic brochures
Any or all of these are available to you based on your level of sponsorship.  For more, contact

New STARskaters Brochure
Online PDF available by clicking here

STARbrochure 2012
Sponsors are being sought for the 2013 version of the STARskaters brochure.

The brochure is distributed at area ice rinks, sponsor locations and the Toyota Center at the table at most Houston AEROS games.

Inside, you'll read about the history of Sled Hockey and learn more about STARskaters programs:
  • Skate Therapy.
  • Sled Hockey.
  • STAR Skate events.
You can also read more about how you can get involved in the STARskaters program as a volunteer, donor or organizing a STAR Skate for groups with special needs.

If you would like a supply of brochures shipped to you, contact
STARskaters mission is to provide an on ice skating experience for therapy and recreation for children and adults with special needs, and to support SLED HOCKEY in Houston.

The program is open to anyone five years of age or older who would normally be unable to enjoy an on-ice skating experience due to their disability. is a public charity registered in Texas as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Tax ID number 26-1657556. 

All donations are tax deductible.

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In This Issue
3 on 3 Hockey Tournament
HIHOA Golf Tourney for STARskaters
SkateTherapy Gala
Wheelchair Kids Camp
Abilities Expo 2013
STAR contributor: Jessie Chan
Sled Hockey on Ice and Wheels
Skate Therapy on FOX
Sponsors Needed
STARskaters Brochure
Video, Audio & Social Media
STAR Supporter
STAR Volunteer

Sponsor Links

For more information, contact



Francesca's Story - Skate Therapy


Joseph's Story - Sled Hockey


Roberto's Story - Skate Therapy 


Video - What is Sled Hockey?  


Get Sledding - Sled Hockey Music Video  


Sled Hockey on KPRC   


Interview "Talking Sled Hockey" with James Dunham 


STARskaters Mission Video   


Social Media, Brochure, Audio  

Texas Sled Hockey on Facebook  


SkateTherapy on Facebook  


STARskaters Brochure - Download


STARskaters Radio Spot 


SkateTherapy in Skating Magazine



Find us on Facebook

STAR Supporter
2020 Exhibits 
There is no better example of the "huge heart of Hockey" than 20/20 Exhibits.  Company executives Bob and Pete Babine, both hockey players, are the first in line to offer support whenever there is a need for exhibit support.

In the past, they have donated banners, signs, cash contributions, and for the last two years the exhibit used by STARskaters at the Abilities Expo held the first weekend in August at Reliant Center.

20/20 Exhibits is known for producing exhibits, events and environments of all sizes.  The STARskaters booth is an example of some of their smaller work.  They are much better known for the massive exhibits they create each year for the OTC, Offshore Technology Conference, and for the luxury suites for the Houston Texans, to name just a few. 


STARskaters is thankful for their very generous donations and ongoing support and can not recommend them highly enough.  But don't take our word for it, check out their excellent work for yourself and 


Thanks again to Pete, Bob and the entire crew at 20/20 Exhibits.  It's support from companies like you that allow STARskaters Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs to grow and flourish.  YOU truly are The STARS! 

STAR Volunteers
Sled Hockey Volunteers
Mike Noland, Lilia O'Neill
and Kim Belknap hard at work
on Sled Hockey gear

Saturday Sled Hockey SuperSTARS!

With over 130 events held in 2012 and projected 150 events for 2013, there is no way we have the space here to thank everyone who keeps these programs operating week after week.


The number of participants and volunteers seems to grow every week and the benefits to both the participants and their families has increased exponentially.


STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill gave his feelings on why the numbers of both first time and repeat volunteers continues to rise. 

"The first time a person comes out to volunteer for STAR the first thing they notice is the smile on the faces of the kids on the ice and the players in the sleds.  It is a special feeling knowing that you helped put that smile on their face.  But the feeling of family and the friendships that develop with the families, volunteers and participants make the Saturday programs and STAR skates truly special events".
If you'd like to get involved, contact us at
Quick Links



STAR Supporter Links

Galveston Guy Condo Rentals  





STAR sponsors 2013