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Spa City girl glides her way to $1,000 scholarship

She goes to school at Albany Academy for Girls, plays ice hockey for her school and Saratoga Springs and is a softball pitcher, but somehow, 12-year-old Zoe Shannon has still found time once a week for six years to help disabled people of all ages from the Gliding Stars program learn to ice skate.

I saw it going on and I really wanted to help, said Shannon.

Her dedication was noticed by her grandmother, who nominated her for a Kohl's Cares Scholarship, sponsored by Kohl's Department Stores to recognize youth making a positive impact on the community. Shannon was one of about 200 young volunteers (plucked from a total of 37,000 nominees) to receive a $1,000 scholarship toward post-secondary education this year.

"I was really surprised and proud that I could get rewarded for something I enjoy doing," said Shannon.

When Shannon first started volunteering with the Gliding Stars program, sponsored by Saratoga Lions Club, she was only 7 years old and much shorter than many of the people she was helping.

"Every year the main person I help is a woman named Amy and she's in her 40s. From when I was little she was a couple feet taller than me when I started and I had to try to help he stand up," said Shannon. "Now I'm taller than Amy is."

Saratoga Lions Club provides the practice time and adaptive skate and equipment for people with disabilities to use at the skating rink on Weibel Avenue in Saratoga Springs. Several volunteers attend practices to teach the novice skaters everything from how to stand on the ice to how to the proper way to move their feed to the rules of the rink.

"I just enjoy it a lot and it's really rewarding to see how happy the skaters get," said Shannon, who helps toddlers to adults.

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