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Ice skating rink a reality by year's end...

Because winter and ice skating are synonymous, Heather Thompson wants to have the Kenmare rink ready to go by the end of the year.

12/22/20 (Tue)

Because winter and ice skating are synonymous, Heather Thompson wants to have the Kenmare rink ready to go by the end of the year.

Thompson, the new caretaker of the Kenmare Skating Rink, understands it’s only eight days until 2021, but she’s ready to get kids down to the rink for some winter fun.

In addition, the optimistic mother of two, said it’s been a bleak year and this might be a way to have fun outdoors with your friends and still social distance.

“I’ve got some work to do, but I want to at least have it ready for this winter,” Thompson said. “But I can’t do it by myself.”

Her goal is to enlist some mothers to help out. Even though she lives in the house just east of the rink, she won’t be able to be there every day because she has two young children to take care of.

Thompson has already talked with a lot of parents whose kids are interested in skating and that’s what got her started in the first place. In addition, Vets Gaming told her they would be of some assistance.

Thompson praised Jeneca Kostad for the work she did on the rink five years ago. Since that time, the warming house got a little run down and a berm where the ice needs to be was breached.

But those aren’t huge problems to have to deal with in order to have a legitimate program again in Kenmare.

There are numerous pairs of skates in the warming house for male and female, from little children to adult. So if someone wants to skate and doesn’t have a pair, they are available at the rink.

“These are donated skates,” she said. “They need to be cleaned and sharpened, but for free, they’re in good shape.”

Thompson doesn’t want to charge anyone a fee for the use of skates. She would prefer to do a little fund raising to keep the furnace and lights on so kids in town can have some free fun.

There are also several hockey sticks, numerous youth hockey helmets and several pucks available.

Thompson also praised Carl Peterson who owned the house the Thompsons live in now. He was the man who took care of the rink for many years and it was named Carl’s Rink in his honor. He also donated the property to the city.

She feels compelled to become involved because she is carrying on what Peterson left behind. Same rink, same house, same ambition; fate may have brought her to this point.

“That was a selfless good deed,” she said. “And he should be remembered for it.”

With that said, she would like to get a copy of a Kenmare News article about Peterson after he died and post it inside the warming house.

She wants kids to get excited about the rink, but she also wants Peterson’s generosity to be remembered by everyone.

There will also be sledding available on the north hill of the complex. When Kostad fixed up the place, she installed ropes so when someone sleds down the hill, they can use the ropes to get back up without too much difficulty.

The ropes are still there and Thompson is certain they’re going to get used a lot since kids in this community enjoy sledding.

“There’s not a lot of maintenance here and if it can keep the kids busy, then we’ve got something going,” Thompson said. “There’s still a lot of planning though. The hours look doable as long as I can get volunteers.”

Hours, at least with the warming house open, are posted on the inside of the warming house. Monday and Wednesday are the only days it’s not open.

The hours are as follows: Sunday, 2-5; Tuesday, 3:30-6:30; Thursday, 3:30-6:30; Friday, 7-9; Saturday, 2-5 and 7-9. All hours are p.m.

The rink will be open for everybody, children, teens and adults  at anytime, but the hours listed are when the warming house will be open.

She’s also looking at getting boards, or at least a chain-link fence for the rink so if kids are playing hockey, they won’t have to chase to the Downtown Square to retrieve the puck.

Thompson is also thinking about using the complex for summer activities such as volleyball, but that’s not priority 1 right now.

A Facebook page has been established and Thompson is hoping to have a grand opening at the end of January with music playing and a mobile food truck will serve cider and hot chocolate.

The only thing left to do now is find a Zamboni... 

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