Whether it’s your first time on the ice or it’s been a while, skating can feel intimidating. While figure skaters and hockey players may make it look deceptively easy, for most of us, it’s not.

On December 16th, 2023, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara (BBBSN) hosted our annual Snack and Skate Holiday Party at Ridley College for the mentors and mentees (also known as Bigs and Littles) involved in our programs. The event featured snacks, crafts, a visit from Santa, games, and, of course, skating. For Hyllary, one of our mentees, it was her first time on the ice, yet she effortlessly glided like a pro. “She keeps lapping me and hasn’t fallen once,” says Leanne, Hyllary’s mentor. “I can’t believe it’s her first time; she’s doing so well.”

Skates and helmets were provided to those who did not have them, ensuring everyone had a chance to safely step onto the ice.” I enjoy watching hockey and have always wanted to try skating,” says Hyllary. “I like rollerblading, and this is almost the same—it’s a lot of fun and easy! I can’t wait to go skating again.”

Leanne and Hyllary have only been matched for a few months and this is their first BBBSN Holiday event together. They had a great time and learned more about each other, strengthening their mentoring relationship. This shared experience will become a cherished memory for years to come.

A heartfelt thank you to our community partners whose support makes events like these possible, allowing mentorship matches like Hyllary and Leanne to create lasting memories. Join us in continuing to support children and youth in Niagara—get involved today.