Friends of The Pool & Park Foundation Plan Community Ice Skating Event


November 30, 2022

The Friends of the Pool and Park Foundation are planning a spectacular family fun community event on Saturday, December 17. The Foundation is going all out to bring Ice Skating to Chinook in what could be the final hurrah for the old rink located just south of the City Pool. For many, they may not even realize that the asphalt square with a couple of basketball hoops that has primarily been used just for parking during swim meets is actually an ice skating rink. The last time the rink had usable ice put down on it has been years ago and if the foundation bond is approved in February, then it's existence will be no longer.

"One day I just had a random thought about having an Ice Skating party," said Foundation spokesperson Heather DePriest. "If we get the bond approved in February then eventually the ice skating rink will go away with the addition of the skate park that is in the works by the Chinook Lions Club and Jeff Ament."

The plans are for a full on family friendly, community based and holiday themed Ice Skating Party with all the bells and whistles one could hope for, "We really hope we can make this happen, but it is clearly weather permitting, if it's really cold say 30 below it probably won't happen, we certainly don't want to freeze people out. If it's forty above and the ice is melting then again, it's probably not going to happen, so it is very weather dependent,' stated DePriest. "

The foundation is doing all it can to ensure everyone who attends is comfortable, "We are going to bring in tents that we have available. We have collaborated together with Blaine County 4-H and have purchased four tents with walls and sides to use as shelter for people to get warm, if need be, plus we will have tower heaters on hand," added DePriest. If you have your own skates, you sure can bring them and the Foundation has made arrangements for those in need, "We will have skates to rent as we have worked with the Have Ice Dome, so we will have skates available for people if they want to rent them." A deposit will be taken on all skate rentals and will be returned upon turning them back in. A liability form will also need to be signed before being allowed to skate. Children under 18 will need to have a parent or guardian accompany them to be able to skate.

"We will have hay bales around the skating area for seating or places just to rest," said DePriest. "We hope to have skate carts available to assist with entry level skaters. We are going to be taking free will donations and the only fee will be skate rental." In addition, the Foundation wants to show its appreciation for the community by serving bowls of chili along with hot cocoa and Rice Krispie treats. "Tammy Edwards has volunteered to make and donate the Rice Krispy treats and if you have never had them then you have truly missed out because they are amazing."

The City of Chinook will be looking to fill the rink over the next couple of weeks, laying the ice down in layers to ensure a good surface. Sandbags will probably be needed in some places, but all will be done to ensure a safe surface is provided. "We want it to be fun community event, maybe a bit of a farewell to the rink if it goes away should the bond get passed. We encourage people to come and reminisce, and just have a good time," said DePriest. "It will include a Christmas theme and candy canes will be available for the cocoa. Dirk and Jill Paulson are donating the makings for S'mores so we will have a couple fire pits available for people to roast their marshmallows to make their treats. If you don't want to skate that is fine too, just stop by and enjoy it!"

DePriest has high hopes for the event, "It has been very well received so far and I am anticipating it will be very well attended, weather permitting of course. Everyone is welcome and we encourage people from Havre, Harlem, Turner, wherever they may be from to come out and enjoy the fun."

The Friends of the Pool and Park Foundation have been on the receiving end of some pretty impressive donations recently and have a great family fun event planned for the near future. Burlington Northern Santa Fe recently presented the Foundation with a $5,000 grant to be used towards the improvement project costs. The Foundation also was the beneficiary of an outstanding effort from Jean Kokkelar and her family following a highly successful Cheeseburger Soup Fundraiser during the Parade of Lights that netted the Foundation nearly $4,000. Also, the Foundation was recently awarded $500 from American Garage in Chinook. "Jean went above and beyond and bought it all bought coffee percolators, napkin holders, tablecloths pretty much everything we need to operate and event that requires food would ever need. Shelby and Chris Nemetz donated all the Beef and we are so grateful for everyone's amazing support" concluded DePriest.


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