Conn. (WTNH) — Teamwork, family and inclusivity. Connecticut Tigers Winter Guard is a group of performers with special needs who perform all across the northeast.

“They are paired up with other members of the winter guard community, so they get to form a relationship with non-disabled peers,” Erika Forte, Connecticut Tigers Co-Director, said.

“It’s really an opportunity for us to build a community to have that sense of teamwork and comradery,” added Brian Forte, Connecticut Tigers Co-Director. “Really, what we always tell our performers is the most important thing we’re trying to do is have fun.”

Co-directors Erika and Brian Forte may lead the way, but the members are the true warriors. 

“Every week, they show up with a smile on their face, they show up ready to have fun, and it’s really inspiring to work with a group of people who don’t let obstacles stand in their way,” Brian said.

For the past 18 years, this non-profit has inspired the performers and staff and those watching in the stands!

“There’s not a dry eye in the house,” Brian said. “So seeing team high-fiving each other and hugging each other and just the joy the audience brings to us is such an uplifting experience.”

“Wherever we go, there’s a standing ovation,” Erika noted. “Our tigers love to perform.”

Learn more about the members on their website and find them on Facebook and Instagram.