Skate & Play in LaFayette

It's a new day at Skate & Play in LaFayette as many upcoming events are on the horizon including a social gathering for adults with disabilities . (Contributed photo)

Skate & Play in LaFayette is under a new re-organization and plans a multitude of events including a social gathering for adults with disabilities.

According to Skate & Play manager Carla Goodman, the event is called C.J.'s Social and is in reference to her employee C.J. Tucker, who is autistic and wants to meet other people his age who may or may not live with a disability.

Goodman has worked at the skating rink since she was a young girl and recently left Hut-cheson Medical Center as a supervisor, only to return to Skate & Play in 2011.

The event is open to everyone 16-years-old and up and is not limited to people with disa-bilities.

C.J., 26, of LaFayette, has been handling and repairing skates at the skating rink since 2012 and wants to meet people and make friends, Goodman said.

"His goal when he came to work here was to make friends and meet people his age," Goodman said.

Goodman said most of the people C.J. meets are younger children, so she decided to start the C.J. Social once a month that is geared towards adults with disabilities.

Goodman said this is not just for those with disabilities, as that is a label and they are not different from anyone else.

"It is just a social event for them. We will have music, dancing and I'll do blackouts (skat-ing in the dark under glow lights) with them," Goodman said.

There will be fun, food, and other games as well.

The C.J. Social will be a monthly, and possibly twice a month based on the interest, event that will officially start on Monday, Feb. 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The plan is to host the event the first Monday of every month.

Goodman said Skate & Play also plans a social of this nature in the near future for chil-dren 15-years-old and younger.

The smallest pair of skates in-house is a baby size 8 and the largest size is an adult 14.

"This building is completely handicap-accessible," she said.

Goodman said anyone and everyone is welcome and there are no limitations.

"People with disabilities do not deserve to have friends that are just like them. They de-serve to have friends just like me and you," she said in reference to how the event is for eve-ryone.

"If they want to come, even if they don't have a disability, and meet these wonderful peo-ple, they are more than welcome to come," she said.

The cost to attend C.J.'s Social is $5.

Additional events

Goodman said many changes are being made to Skate & Play, including new games and events like karaoke nights, adult nights, couple nights, Christian nights as well as many other upcoming events.

The first karaoke night will take place on Friday, Jan. 15, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Roller derby sporting events will also be hitting the rink on a flat track as fans and spec-tators of the sport can come witness area roller derby teams match up for some aggressive competition.

Skate & Play also open their doors to rent for birthdays, church outings, family reunions, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, sports banquets, etc.

The music is tailored to which specific crowd is in attendance, unless it is a general ad-mission skate. General admission is $7.

Goodman even teaches skating lessons to the young and young at heart who want to learn to skate.

Goodman said she is looking for musical groups and bands who would like to come and perform at Skate & Play.

Pool tables, new arcade games, and the indoor "soft play" playground is also available. Concessions and drinks are available as well.

Grand re-opening

The grand re-opening of Skate & Play will take place the first week in February and that weekend will be a "buy one, get one" skate, where if you pay for one and bring a friend, they get in free.

Skate & Play is located at 1951 East Highway 136 in LaFayette and can be found on Face-book, where upcoming events will be posted as they draw near.

Anyone interested in booking an event, or to learn more about the upcoming events, can contact Skate & Play at 423-883-2277.

"Come out and join us for a great family night," Goodman said.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at jobryant@npco.com.