SABAH’s Athlete of the Month for October is the strong and ruggedly handsome, Gabe Venditti from the Niagara University program. Although Gabe has a tough exterior, the 15 year old SABAH athlete is also one of SABAH’s most helpful participants. Last year, along with his volunteer partner Harry Steinwald, Gabe took it upon himself to assist first year skater, Liam O’Donnell. Gabe noticed that the 7 year old skater was taking his first steps on the ice and immediately came to his rescue. He also enlisted Harry to help support Liam by positioning themselves on either side of the new SABAH athlete. Together, they each took a hand and gently skated around the ice with Liam.
At just 15 years old, it might be hard to believe that Gabe has been with SABAH for 13 years. But Gabe began in the Niagara University program when he was just two years old! In Gabe’s earliest years with SABAH, he was a fun and feisty toddler who wavered between completely happy to completely resistant. Yet, now as a young adult, Gabe is a delightful teenager who serves as a role model to his fellow participants in Niagara’s Group 1. “Gabe has grown up so much over the years,” states Executive Director Sheila O’Brien. “He is now one of the most helpful and engaging participants at the Niagara Rink. While he appears to be a tough young man on the outside, he has a very kind and compassionate side to him that already makes him a leader at the rink.”
SABAH continues to be grateful for Gabe’s hard work, commitment, and support for his fellow athletes in the Niagara program. In celebration of Gabe’s growth and dedication over the past 13 years, we are pleased to name him as the 2017 October Athlete of the Month.