Ice rink volunteers worthy of community recognition

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

By Staff
Thanks to the generous volunteer work of a few individuals, a favorite pasttime is coming back to Niles. For the past five years, Larry Allen has been pursuing the issue of bringing back an ice skating rink.
Originally, Eastside Rink and Westside Rink provided family fun on the ice. Each rink enjoyed years of success during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Allen worked years ago as a young teenager on the original "ice skating rink," with Elmer Easton. Easton had the "Elmer's Lock and Key" business and did all of the maintenance of the rink, using his jeep and blade to clear the snow and keep it in great condition. He also had a small trailer (shanty) with a wood stove, coffee, hot chocolate and candy.
The rink is being built again for the community, for those who have never had the experience and enjoyment of skating with family. Many memories of parents teaching children how to skate were a weekend occurrence years ago. The days of innocence and achievements were bestowed upon the parents and children. The excitement of a child letting go of mom or dad's grip and taking those first few feet of "solo" skating again will become a photograph stored in a family's memory! A memory preserved for life for many families who will enjoy the rink.
Both parks were man made, many hours of digging and transporting of clay by Buff Vella and Jim Seals, who worked for the city. The current rink is being built again for the community. It will be located at Eastside Park.
Praise and thanks go to Allen, (never taking no for an answer, no matter who it is), Joe Ray, assistant engineer for the city, Terry Eull for okaying the project, Kip Wilken from the Niles Street Department, Bill Foster, who came out with his truck and plow and removed the many inches of snow on Sunday and to the Niles Fire Department for the use of the fire hoses.
Allen and Larry Pickles will be taking care of the rink for the rest of the season.
Other folks who volunteered include Doug Beckwith, Mike Majerek, Tim Skalla and Paul Mooney.
This is a truly remarkable thing these volunteers are doing for our community. Many thanks should be given to these people, who want nothing more than to bring a family fun pasttime back to our city