STAR banner 2011
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Paralympic Sport Club
STARskaters is a USOC Paralympic Sport Club
With two separate programs active each week, ongoing fundraising is critical to provide both the SkateTherapy and Sled Hockey programs the required resources to benefit our participants.

Did you know we have a STAR store?  Click here to support STARskaters and get some great gear!

Our next event will be held Easter weekend, the annual 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament to fund STARskaters Sled Hockey team's trip to the USA Hockey Disabled Festival in Detroit Michigan.

Last fall, the SkateTherapy Gala was a huge success and raised funds to support the rapid growth of that program which now requires the lobby of both rinks at Sugar Land Ice & Sports center for warmups before Saturday classes.  

If you've never tried Curling, read more about an upcoming event in September which will serve to introduce Houstonians to the sport as well as raise funds for STARskaters programs.

If you are an Amazon user, you can donate while you shop!  It costs you $0, just designate STARskaters as your charity of choice and log in using - read below for details. 

And, the Sled Imperials traveled to Dallas to help raise funds for the Dallas Sled Hockey program.  The Imperials played against Dallas Stars Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Sled Stars.  Read more about all of the above in this issue and we invite you to view a video about how SkateTherapy has benefitted Roberto, one of our SkateTherapy STARS!

Special THANKS to our Ice Rink Partners - Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall, Bellerive Ice Center 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 Hockey and Sled Weekend


Bellerive Ice Center will be the place to be Easter weekend as players of all ages and skill levels will compete in a 3 on 3 hockey tournament to raise money to help our Sled Hockey team attend the 2016 USA Hockey disabled festival in Detroit this April 7-10th. 


Sled Hockey players from Houston, Dallas and Austin will play in the half-ice 3 on 3 games as well as full-ice games for a Sled Hockey Weekend which will be combined with the "Easter Biscuit".


To register, or for more information, click here.


Sponsorships are also available!  

  • T-shirt sponsor $1,000.
  • Food sponsor $500.
  • Program sponsor $250.
If you can't attend but would still like to donate, visit and click on the DONATE link, or contribute by PayPal by sending your donation to:

We hope to see you Easter weekend to "put the biscuit in the basket".

SkateTherapy Growth Continues! 

2016 has started with a Bang!  We are growing each week, and our classes are filling the lobbies!  Notice the plural, yes, we now are also using Rink B lobby for quiet exercises before class begins, and then expanding into Lobby A for the larger movement exercises!  It is a sight to be seen!

Hockey assumes new enthusiasm under the leadership of Hailey Schatzmann.  The increase in interest and participation has been astounding!  The new high numbers deserves plans to be consider to take the hockey badge testing to a new level!  Hailey has invited new instructors to come and help with our added members, and that has been extraordinary!  Stay tuned, word has it another expansion is in the wind!

It is the time of year that Badge Testing becomes the "go to guy".  Taking the leveled tests gives each skater the opportunity not only to work on skills that are consistent with learning the sport in an appropriate time and manner, but also to earn badges that can be worn with pride.  Lesson times will now be spent working on the specific levels of skills so each person in the program has the opportunity to earn a badge.

Come in on Saturday morning and join in the fun!  Warm up for the First Class begins at 9:18 sharp, and the Second class ends at 10:30.  We will find a way to include every special needs child in the Sugar Land area.   Coffee will be served!

STARskaters Golf Tournament


The 3rd annual STARskaters Golf Tournament was held at the Quail Valley Golf Course and included a special guest, Francesca Forsyth (seen below with the Houston Halo Cheerleaders.


The tournament helped raise $3,000 of the $15,000 needed to take the Sled Hockey team to the USA Hockey National Tournament in Detroit coming in April 2016.


We are behind in our fundraising goal for this Sled Hockey trip, if you would like to support the team, click here to make a tax deductible donation.


Thanks to the 2015 golf tournament sponsors:

  • Accumulators
  • Animose Studios
  • Belknap Concrete Cutting & Drilling
  • Houston Distributing
  • Houston Hockey & Skate World
  • Mitton Media
  • Telluride Construction
  • Universal Weather
We plan to hold another event in October 2016, so look for details at
Sled Imperials Take on NHL Star Tyler Seguin & Dallas Sled Stars
It was a road trip to Dallas for the Sled Imperials to help the Dallas Stars Sled Hockey club raise money in a fundraising hockey game held at the Star Center in Farmers, Branch, Texas.

NHL Vet Bob Bassen (right) strategizes with Joseph Montemayor (middle)
Former NHL star Bob Bassen joined the Imperials team as they took on current Dallas Star and NHL scoring leader Tyler Seguin in a fundraising Sled Hockey event.

As you can see by the video below, NHL players struggle getting around on the ice in a sled...but their stick-handling skills are still world class.

Seguin scored in the first minute of the game and scored three goals in all as the Stars Sled Team, which also included two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Taylor Lipsett, outpaced the young Sled Imperials team.

Several thousand dollars were raised for the Dallas Sled Hockey Club and STARskaters Sled Imperials look forward to a rematch in 2016!
SkateTherapy Gala Dinner 

The 2015 Gala was a huge success!  Thanks to our fearless choreographer, Rénee Kono, each of our classes delighted our guests with intricate patterns, steps and interpretation of music in their group number!   Rénee does not know the word "can't" and our guests were amazed and so excited to see each team perform!  

We thank our guest speakers who brought a "personal message" to those attending.  Knowledge is golden, so they say, and we wanted our guests to understand just how much detail goes into developing a program that has gained so many members in such a short time!  Kudos to Michelle Ross, Sue Stanley, Rénee Kono and Ailsa Robertson for giving us an "inside look" at our organization.

We also want to thank our sponsors and dedicated volunteers for helping recreate Rink A into the site for a beautiful party!  Carpet on the ice and tables with beautiful floating balloon centerpieces lent itself to a festive evening, complete with guest skaters, a fantastic auction under the leadership of a very special auctioneer and an eager audience.  For a complete list of all who helped make this evening the success is was, please see our website at

NHL Stars try Sled Hockey
NHL players give Sled Hockey a try
NHL players give Sled Hockey a try

STARskaters in ICE - Nice! 

When the Willowbrook AERODROME recently renovated their ice surface, STARskaters was added to the ice surface thanks to long-time STAR supporter TC Lewis, GM of the Aerodrome.

This gesture is typical of the great support that STARskaters receives from the rink community in Houston.

The first Sled Hockey in Houston was held at the Willowbrook AERODROME, and in fact the very idea of adding Sled Hockey to the STARskaters programs was made by TC Lewis, who also serves as Houston's district representative for USA Hockey.

Roberto's SkateTherapy Story
Coach Reid Makes the News 

Recently, Sled Hockey Coach Reid Williams was featured in an article in the Fort Bend Star.  What follow is an excerpt of that article.  Read the full article here

Richmond resident Reid Williams met Founder Jim O'Neill at the Sugar Land rink and encouraged Reid to volunteer with  the Sled Hockey program.  Williams began to volunteer, and before long, he was hooked. He eventually became the head coach, which is also a volunteer position.

"At the end of it, I couldn't believe the joy in the players' eyes," Williams said. "It's very rewarding. Every week, the payment of seeing what you're doing and helping out these achievers is unmeasurable. The volunteers are constantly helping. It's such a good, rewarding thing."

The tournament team is officially called Texas Sled Hockey, and often includes players from throughout Texas. 

Williams coached Rico Roman, who won a gold medal in the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and Kyle Huckaby, who won a world championship earlier this year.

In the 2015 national tournament, Texas Sled Hockey player Joe Montemayor become the first triple amputee to score a goal in a tournament. Then, went on to score three.

Williams was always a hockey enthusiast but didn't have any experience playing beyond the recreational level. He's coached Texas Sled Hockey in the nationals for each of the past two seasons.

Williams has built a partnership with the Sugar Land Imperials, a junior hockey team that plays its home games at the local rink.

Amazon Smile - 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!

Curling Anyone?

This September the Curling Club of Houston will be hosting its second annual Labor Day weekend bonspiel at Bellerive Ice Center.  Last year's event brought teams from Texas and Oklahoma and players from across the country.  This year's bonspiel aims to be bigger and better with a new purpose of raising money to support STARskaters.

Details of the event are still in the works but along with the main tournament the club plans to host a novice bonspiel for players who haven't played in a curling league before and the club will try to arrange a wheelchair curling demonstration and instruction session.  

Visit to get the latest updates as details are available.

The Curling Club of Houston was founded in 1973 by a group of 
Canadians to bring an important part of their life here to Texas.  Now the club offers the opportunity for Houstonians to play the most watched sport during the Winter Olympics, and the club is a mix of players who learned the sport before moving to Houston and players who discovered the sport in Houston.

FOX26 Features SkateTherapy
SkateTherapy on FOX26
SkateTherapy featured on FOX26

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


STAR Supporter

Kirk Loudon
YOUR Creative NOW!
When STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill first had the idea to provide an on-ice experience for individuals with disabilities nearly 10 years ago, the first call he made was to Kirk Loudon to create the logo for STARskaters.  Over the years, Kirk has created many other images for our programs including the logos for both SkateTherapy and Texas Sled Hockey, the banner you see at the top of this newsletter, and most recently the logo for the Easter Biscuit 3 on 3 tournament. And, all of this excellent work has been donated by Kirk, who recently founded his latest venture,

For many years you've seen his commercial work for the Gulf Coast Blood Center, he not only did the TV commercials, but also designed all this great t-shirts you see all over town worn by blood donors.

In addition to creating logos, TV and radio commercials, complete marketing packages, billboards and everything visual. He is also a musician and creates original music and is also a filmmaker, having produced several award winning feature length films.

Kirk is also the founder of the Trindiefest Film Festival and is definitely someone you want to have both on your creative team, as well as your trivial pursuit team.

If you're looking for any type of creative services, we hope you'll contact Kirk and support the original supporter of STARskaters!

He can be reached at:

THANK YOU Kirk Loudon for your decade of support and donation of your endless talents!!!
STAR Volunteer

Rénee Kono

Rénee is a long time volunteer and also serves as's Fearless Choreographer! 

When asked to choreograph a number for the Gala Fund Raising Dinner, she never had a doubt she could create something the skaters loved to perform and would be proud to present. Indeed, she was correct! 

She created not one, but TWO beautiful group numbers which included each skater who was able to attend the dinner. She conducted practices, created the intricate circles, which appeared to turn inside out, and back again!.  

Congratulations, Rénee ! We are proud to call you our own!

If you'd like to get involved as a volunteer either on or off the ice, please contact us at:
New STAR Store!

Show your support for STARskaters with a STAR t-shirt, koozie, or check out other special item which will be on sale as available.

Click here to check out our current items.


STAR Supporter Links
Galveston Guy Condo Rentals  


Houston Gunners Hockey Club



Quick Links



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
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.

Programs are 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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STARskaters Brochure
Online PDF available by clicking here

STARbrochure 2012
Sponsors are being sought for the 2016 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