Cape Elizabeth’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will host a Best Buddies Inclusion Skate on Feb. 3 to increase access to ice skating and winter activities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Committee member Monica Malcomson, a teacher at Brown Elementary School in South Portland, came up with the idea.

“Part of (the committee’s) charge is to host yearly events that create a sense of belonging,” Malcomson told The Forecaster. “I thought, ‘How do we create these communal opportunities around partnerships and unification and collaboration and make sure we’re really utilizing all the strengths of our community organizations in Cape Elizabeth and South Portland?'”

Malcomson is an adviser to her school’s chapter of Best Buddies, an organization that pairs up people with and without disabilities, and runs an afterschool program, Brown School Skates. She’s also on the board of the Cape Community Arena Group, which operates the outdoor ice rink at Gull Crest.

A collaboration was natural, she said. Each of the organizations are involved in next week’s event.

“This was kind of her brainchild of a project, which is pretty awesome,” said Shay Wilcox, senior program manager at Best Buddies Maine. “I know Monica and she is a passionate ice skater and it’s something she’s been doing for a very long time. So, when she came to me and said, ‘This is something I want to do, will Best Buddies Maine support this,’ there was no question in my mind. We were going to support it.”


There are 38 Best Buddies chapters across the state, Wilcox said, at eight elementary schools, seven middle schools, 14 high schools and five colleges, along with four adult chapters.

The inclusion skate is geared toward the Cape Elizabeth and South Portland Best Buddies chapters along with friends and family, but all community members are welcome.

“We’re super excited for the inclusion skate to happen and hopefully connect with folks who aren’t already involved in Best Buddies,” Wilcox said.

Skating will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at the Gull Crest rink. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own skates and more, if they have them, to share with others. Brown School Skates will have some skates on hand to borrow.

A bundle of other activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including quiet coloring, face painting, a hot chocolate bar and trail walks led by the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust.

“When we talk about people with intellectual developmental disabilities, a lot of times they have sensory needs,” Christina McAnuff, chair of the diversity committee, told The Forecaster. She described the variety of activities that will be offered as a “choose your own adventure.”


“You don’t have to put on skates and you can still be part of it,” she said.

Malcomson hopes the event will give way to further collaboration between the committee and its partners.

“I hope groups in our community will come together any chance we can to create more opportunities for a sense of belonging and camaraderie,” she said.

To register for the Best Buddies Inclusion Skate and learn more about the committee, go to its page on the town’s website, To learn more about Best Buddies Maine, go to

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