Toledo Originals use roller-skating events to help othersWritten by Hannah Nusser | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In August, five friends came together to use their passion for roller-skating as a catalyst to give back to the community. The product: Toledo Ohio Originals (TOO), a new roller-skating group aiming to have fun while helping others.
Members can be found gliding and grooving the night away every Wednesday at Ohio Skate, 5735 Opportunity Drive in Toledo.
While the group now has ten members, it’s about more than just bringing skaters together to enjoy a hobby, said Shamika Coleman, TOO corresponding secretary.
“We don’t just want to be a skate group,” Coleman said. “We want to be able to give back to our community.”
In its mission to give back, TOO is sponsoring a canned food drive at Ohio Skate during every “Quiet Storm” in November. “Quiet Storm” is an 18-and-older skate night hosted every Wednesday at Ohio Skate from 9 p.m. to midnight. Those who donate a canned food item will receive $1 off the $6 admission price. All proceeds will be donated to local charities at the end of the month.
Coleman said TOO was built on a foundation of the four F’s in its mission statement: fitness, fellowship, fundamentals and fun.
“We really want people to be able to come together and enjoy skating like we do,” she said. “We really want basically to show people that we’re serious about our four F’s.”
Coleman, 31, said she’s been roller-skating since she was 18 and has been a regular at Ohio Skate for years.
“I love meeting new people,” she said. “I love learning new tricks … the exercise in it, the sweat. I guess I get an excitement and adrenaline rush from learning new stuff and getting it down pat.”
Delano Smith, TOO president, said TOO is not a competitive group and does not participate in competitions; members just love skating and learning new maneuvers together.
“[Competition] is nowhere near part of our mission statement,” Smith said. “We may have steps, routines, but it’s purely social for fun … It sounds corny to a person on the outside, [but] skating makes perfect sense.”
While it was easy to meet its goals for fun and fellowship, Smith said, board members are still discussing how it will be able to teach fundamentals to beginner skaters. Ideally, he said, TOO would like to have a rink for practicing and holding skating classes.
“Everybody in our skate club is not the best skater and that’s what’s good about it,” Smith said. “That’s what makes it original; that’s what makes it natural because we can all learn together.”
Ohio Skate has been such a mainstay in the group members’ skating background, Smith said, that the TOO debut was celebrated there. The celebration included a roller skate-shaped cake and the recruitment of five new members into the group. TOO meets weekly, Smith said, but cannot accept any new members until next year because board members are still working out details for the group. It plans to capture a younger demographic next year when its recruitment process gets into full swing.
“It just starts at skating,” Smith said. “We’re going to branch out.”
For more information on Ohio Skate, call (419) 476-2808.