Local girl’s ice skating dream becomes a reality

Published: Feb. 12, 2023 at 7:12 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) -Charlie McNitt comes from a family that enjoys being on the ice.

But Charlie wasn’t always able to skate with her family.

She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy before birth, meaning she can’t walk on her own power.

But thanks to the generosity of community members, the family tradition is now a reality.

“As a mom seeing your kid happy, no matter what it is that they’re doing, there’s nothing like it,” said Katy McNitt, Charlie’s mother.

Katy says this customized sled was a gift from Fort Drum’s sled hockey team, the Fort Drum Mountain Warriors.

“We weren’t sure she would ever get on the ice, if she did it was going to be a long time before she got out there,” said McNitt.

The Canadian made sled is adjustable, and as Charlie grows, the sled can adjust to her height.

Mountain Warriors coach Mark Mckenna says after learning about Charlie’s story, he felt he could make a difference.

“It’s all about family. We’re one big hockey family. You just have to have the opportunity and the means, and we can provide the means and let’s give these kids an opportunity to play the sport that they love,” said McKenna.

“A lot of times getting equipment can be financially difficult, or there’s a lot of red tape, a lot of hoops to jump through. Getting this out of someone’s just wanting to see the other kids get out there, and to get the kids on the ice is huge,” said McNitt.

Charlie’s family says seeing her face light up every time she’s on the ice is priceless, adding that no one’s disability should impede them from everyday activities.