Kent resident uses skills to help others

Felicia Chen Rogers, 16, wants everyone to experience the joy she feels when she skates on the ice.

Felicia Chen Rogers created a program called Joy on Ice for disabled children.

Felicia Chen Rogers created a program called Joy on Ice for disabled children.

Felicia Chen Rogers, 16, wants everyone to experience the joy she feels when she skates on the ice.

“I have enjoyed ice skating for over 11 years,” Rogers said. “I feel like I am in a different world when I am skating and so I’d like to inspire more children to share this feeling.”

Rogers is a certified Ice Skating Institute figure skating coach. This month, she started a program called “Joy on Ice” designed for special needs children to have the opportunity to enjoy ice skating at a minimal cost, with the assistance from experienced skaters.

“It is going to be an ongoing program,” Rogers said. “I would like to invite the handicapped children, with either physical or mental challenge, such as the children with autism, or with limited vision, or with cancer, or other problems, to come to the Kent Valley Ice Center to skate, with the assistance from me or my friends.”

Rogers believes these children should have the chance to experience something fun.

“Since most of these children can’t get on ice by themselves, my friends or I will be on ice holding their hands, or just be on their side, the whole time while they are on ice,” Rogers noted. “For smaller children, I might carry them on my back, let them feel the wind, the speed and let them skate with my help.”

The idea came to Rogers when she saw a girl in a wheelchair being pushed on the ice at the ice center.

“She was so happy and smiled so big as she got pushed around the rink,” Rogers said. “While watching her, I started to think about how the joy of being on ice can be experienced by everyone, no matter what their capabilities are. I thought, what about other kids who need some help to experience moving on ice?”

Rogers sold her out-grown skating dresses and skates to come up with the initial funding for the program. Right now, she has enough money raised to pay admission fees for as many as 10 children who can’t afford the $8 cost to get onto the ice rink.

“My friends and I will continue work on fundraising so we can bring more children to skate,” Rogers said. “Right now I’m in high school, but after I graduate from college, I will have more funds for this program.”

Kent Valley Ice Center is providing free rental skates for the kids as well.

“We don’t want to leave anyone out, so if they can’t afford it, we’ll do what we can to help out,” Rogers said.

Rogers did not set aside a specific time for the program. It will be on weekends by appointment at the ice center, located at 6015 S 240th St.

“Skating is really fun and exciting,” Rogers said. “I plan to skate the rest of my life, and I wish everybody can experience the joy on ice, including the handicapped children. I can’t wait to skate with these children.”

Rogers can be reached by email at fchen4@mail.greenriver.edu or by phone at 253-486-6185.


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