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Paralympic Sport Club
STARskaters is a USOC Paralympic Sport Club
2015 has started off with a lot of activity for both the Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs.

The Sled Hockey team is in full speed ahead fundraising mode to cover the $17,000 cost to take the team to the USA Hockey National Sled Hockey Tournament in Buffalo, NY in April.  THANK YOU to some of our early fundraising sponsors, Messier Financial Advisors and the Houston Gunners Women's Ice Hockey Club.

March 7th, a benefit concert by Screaming Buffalo will be held at Al's Bar, read more about that below as well as how the Sugar Land Imperials kicked off the 2015 fundraising by raising $4,000 in their AEROS night jersey auction. Read about our STAR supporters, the Imperials, as well as our STAR volunteers Mike and Brenda Noland in this issue.

The SkateTherapy program had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Temple Grandin at an event in Sugar Land, read more about that in this issue and check out Kyle Huckaby's first gold medal as part of the USA National Sled Hockey team.

March 28-29th the fundraising continues on-ice with the annual 3 on 3 Hockey tournament with divisions available for every level, including Sled Hockey.  Thanks to Bellerive Ice for hosting the tournament.

During the tournament, you can give Sled Hockey a try, just like Sidney Crosby and other NHL Stars did in this video

Ice Skate USASpecial thanks to our amazing  Sugar Land Ice & Sports 
RINK PARTNERS, Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall and the AERODROME  for their ongoing weekly program support for STAR's Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs.
Next time you're visitng these rinks, please be sure and let them know how much you appreciate their support!

Jim O'Neill

3 on 3 and Sled Hockey Weekend

3 on 3 As a final tune-up in preparation for the Sled Hockey National Sled Tournament in Buffalo NY April 9-12th, players from Houston, Austin and Dallas will take the ice at Bellerive Ice Center in Houston March 28th and 29th.


Click here for tournament information.


The Sled Hockey Weekend will be combined with a 3 on 3 fundraiser tournament for Houston Hockey players of all ages to enjoy a weekend of hockey with all proceeds going to support STARskaters Sled Hockey team.  In total, 17 players will be attending the 3 day tournament and $17,000 is needed to cover the airfare, hotels, meals, transpiration

Team USA Gold Medalist Rico Roman at 2014  Sled Hockey Weekend

 and tournament fees.


Last year the Sled Hockey team fell just one goal short of winning a gold medal and all players have their eye on bringing home Gold in 2015.

We hope you'll be able to join us on the ice, or stop by and check out Sled Hockey firsthand.  Sessions will be available for the general public to give Sled Hockey a try.  


If you're not able to make it, please consider making a donation to support Sled Hockey in Houston.  Click here to donate online, and THANK YOU for your support!


SkateTherapy Students Meet Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, the woman "who refused to be excluded from society" spoke words of hope and encouragement to 1,500 spellbound people in the community of Autism, at Sugar Creek Baptist, Sugar Land, TX.  This marked Ms. Grandins' first visit to Sugar Land, and she vibrantly told her own story of realizing she was not going to be bound by a lack of social skills, which could have derailed a person with less determination than her mother and herself.  Her constant striving to serve others helped her step out beyond her own limitations.   

Realizing her love of animals, plus a gift for engineering and mathematics, Temple realized her own goal by graduating from Colorado State University with a PhD in Animal Husbandry.  She subsequently has been an activist for animal rights and protection for many animals.  

Her message to those attending contained statements like, "Never stop learning!", "Allow the brain to develop", there are many brilliant and successful people in this world who must find a way to thrive even with the diagnosis of being on the Autism Spectrum. Find someone to help the necessary social development of the quiet introverted child.  

Developing speech for children who do not have the function is always an unspoken goal.  Patience to recognize each child's potential, individual instruction geared to the needs of that child and the creation of games and specific activities, geared to individuals are uppermost in each instructors mind.

The Magic of SkateTherapy
55 dedicated instructors, each assigned to an individual child, greet the skater for a warm-up prior to getting on the ice.  This warm up activity not only promotes physical fitness, but helps the skater to mentally prepare for the morning's lesson.  The on-ice lesson starts with a 10 minute lesson with each skater being helped by the individual instructor while the group instructor guides the entire group.  It is apparent the children enjoy skating as a group, which in itself reinforces group participation.  Helping a child learn social skills through sports was prominent in the minds of those who actively help our Special Needs children and young adults in specializes in helping children and young adults learn social skills while increasing their sporting skills through figure skating and hockey.  Presently, 44 members of the children and young adults of the Special Needs' community meet at Sugar Land Ice and Sports to learn the sports of hockey and figure skating.  "This group is like a large family, and my son looks forward to Saturday morning as a very special time" says a father of a child with Autism. 

For more information, visit

Screaming Buffalo to Play Concert to Support STARskaters
FLY ME HOME by Screaming Buffalo
FLY ME HOME by Screaming Buffalo
The very first fundraiser ever held for STARskaters in 2008 featured Houston's own Screaming Buffalo, and March 7th the band is back to rock and raise money for STARskaters Sled Hockey program.

Hockey is a big part of the band's lifestyle as 3 of the 4 members are hockey players.  Guitarist Steve Simoni played professionally for the Houston AEROS while Chris Janosek and Greg "Jiffy" Jeffries are legends on the Houston hockey scene.  Drummer Carl Norberg takes out his aggression on his instrument so he has no motivation to join his band mates on the ice.

The band will perform from 10pm-2am March 7th at Al's Bar, 16203 Westheimer, west of Highway 6.  Check out more Screaming Buffalo online here, and check them out LIVE March 7th!

AmazonSmile - Shop & Support!

Here's the EASIEST way to support STARskaters, and it comes at NO COST to you.  All you need to do is shop AmazonSmile by pointing your browser to,

You'll then be prompted to select a charity.  To support STARskaters, just type (all one word) STARskaters, and a % of your purchase is automatically donated to STARskaters.

You'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to STARskaters.  It's just that simple!
Click here for more information and we hope you'll choose to support STARskaters when you next shop at Amazon!
Huckaby on Ice for Team USA  
Kyle Huckaby makes a blocker save
in a 8-1 win over Korea
Team USA defeated Russia in an overtime thriller to take home the Gold medal at the 2015 Sledge Hockey Challenge held near Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

Team USA went undefeated tournament iwith victories over Russia, Canada and Korea. 

STARskaters alumnus Kyle Huckaby got his first tournament ice time with Team USA in the 8-1 win over Korea.

"It is so exciting to see someone who started with the STARskaters program playing at the highest level of the sport" commented STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill.  "Kyle is an amazing athlete who had to make a tough choice to pursue basketball or hockey and we're thrilled to see his hard work pay off."

After returning to the US, Kyle visited Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall and shared his gold medal experience with his former Houston teammates.  Then, he got back to work with two practice scrimmages at both Memorial City Mall and Bellerive Ice rinks.

Westview School STAR Skate
The STAR Skate with the kids from Westview school has become an annual event, and February 20th, nearly 50 students, parents and teachers took the ice at Willowbrook Aerodrome for a morning of fun on and off the ice.

The attendees were split into two groups.  While one was on the ice, the other was learning all about how ice rinks work, getting an up close and personal Zamboni experience, and enjoying lunch.  The two groups then swapped and from the smiles on the faces of both kids and adults, a good time was had by all.

The first Westview STAR Skate was held in 2009 and we hope to continue the tradition next year in 2016.

Special thanks to Caren Bell and the staff at the Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex who did an incredible job organizing the agenda and instructing the kids both on and off the ice.

If you would like to schedule a STAR skate for your organization, contact:
NHL Stars try Sled Hockey
NHL players give Sled Hockey a try
NHL players give Sled Hockey a try

FOX26 Features SkateTherapy
SkateTherapy on FOX26
SkateTherapy featured 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 2015 version of the STARskaters brochure.

The brochure is distributed at area ice rinks, sponsor locations, outreach events, and at Sugar Land Imperials 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 distribute STARskaters brochures at your location, 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

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?  


Raising an Olympian - Taylor Lipsett


Get Sledding - Sled Hockey Music Video  


Sled Hockey on KPRC   


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

Sugar Land Imperials
Giving back to the community is important to Sugar Land Imperials GM Jamie Feltus and ever since the team was founded in 2013 they have been supporters of STARskaters SkateTherapy and Sled Hockey programs.

Last year the team donated $1,500 from their "chuck-a-puck" game held during the Imperials Home games at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center.  But this year, the team more than DOUBLED their donations by holding an AEROS jersey auction during their final home stand of the 2014-2015 season.

The team brought the old AHL Houston AEROS back to the ice and wore special jerseys incorporating both the AEROS and Imperials logos.  After the game the jerseys were auctioned off and $4,000 was raised for STARskaters Sled Hockey team. They also donated 14 pair of new hockey gloves so the team will take the ice in style in Buffalo.

This is the largest single donation ever given to STARskaters by an organization and it could not have come at a better time as the team needs to raise a total of $17,000 to cover the costs of taking the team to the USA Hockey National Sled Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY April 9th-12th, 2015.

THANK YOU to Jamie Feltus and the entire staff of the Sugar Land Imperials for this incredible donation and your ongoing support which allows us to provide an on-ice experience for individuals with disabilities in the Houston area.

STAR Volunteers
Mike and Brenda Noland


The Nolands got involved with STARskaters after learning about the program at the Abilities Expo in 2012.


Their son Andy is a hockey fan but wasn't aware of Sled Hockey until visiting the STARskaters booth at the Expo in July of 2012.


After one time on the ice, Andy was hooked and he and his parents have become regulars for Saturday Sled Hockey at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall.


Mike has become an expert Sled mechanic and Brenda has worked hard to organize and manage the massive amount of equipment used for Sled Hockey.


Away from the rink, Mike and Brenda own and operate Alcohol Education Services, which provides court ordered education and other legal services for individuals charged with DWI and other Drug & Alcohol related offenses. Located in the heart of Pearland's Town Center complex, the company serves the entire Southeast Texas area as well as out of state cases.


The Nolands also enjoy spending time in their cabin nestled high in the mountains of Colorado as often as their busy schedule allows.


If you'd like to get involved either on or off the ice, please contact us at:
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STAR Supporter Links

Galveston Guy Condo Rentals  


Houston Gunners Hockey Club


Locker Room Sports Bar