Wheatfield and Lewiston natives Mitchell, Jen and Holly Martin will perform as a trio at the upcoming Gliding Stars annual Ice Show March 20 and 21.
For Holly Martin, participating in the Gliding Stars adaptive ice skating program is truly a family affair. Holly spends every Monday night with her uncle, Mitchell, and sister, Jen, at the Hyde Park rink in Niagara Falls practicing with Gliding Stars for the annual ice show.
"This year, my uncle is ecstatic to be doing a routine with my sister and I; it's all he talks about," Jen said.
Both Mitchell and Jen have been skating with the Gliding Stars program since it began in 2004. Though both face challenges and complex developmental disabilities, they do not let those challenges hold them back. As a child, Jen was told she would never be able to walk but, through her hard work in the Gliding Stars program, she has gained the strength and coordination to ambulate independently.
Mitchell enjoys learning how to skate without his walker. He credits Gliding Stars in teaching him to "skate better so I can move up in groups and now do my own routine."
The theme of this year's ice show is "Family Game Night on Ice," and the Martins have chosen to perform as the Mario Brothers from the popular video games.
Mitchell would like to thank his teachers and volunteers, Michael and Holly, for "being the best!" Jen would like to thank her sister and Elizabeth O'Donnell, founder and president of Gliding Stars, for pushing her to "try her best and improve."
Mitchell, an avid Bills and Sabres fan, also enjoys bowling when not on the ice and working at Opportunities Unlimited.
Off the ice, Jen is involved in many recreation events at Opportunities Unlimited. She enjoys swimming, going to the movies and going out to dinner with her friends.
For 20-year-old Holly, a sophomore at Niagara University, growing up with a developmentally disabled uncle and older sister has inspired her to become a special education teacher.
Mitchell, Jen, Holly and the rest of the Gliding Stars will perform "Family Game Night on Ice" at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20, and at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Northtown Center (former Pepsi center) 1615 Amherst Manor Drive, Amherst. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. For more information, call 716-608-8345.