If you haven’t seen the new pro-quality outdoor rink at Falun, right beside the schools, you need to get over there, and bring your skates, lacrosse equipment, roller blades and other athletic equipment.
The PLACE Society, Pigeon Lake Athletic and Cultural Education, has been spearheading the development of a full-size, fully-heated, full-maintained year-round facility since 2010, and efforts so far have resulted in a beautiful and extremely high quality outdoor rink, the equal of some professional indoor rinks.
PLACE members Jay Jowsey and Ron Lupton spoke with The Pipestone Flyer Sept. 30 about the need for such a facility and the ongoing fundraising efforts to keep it in place.
The property the rink sits on belongs to Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools, who generously allowed PLACE to develop it. PLACE owns the facility itself.
Jowsey said an impromptu rink sat nearby the current site some years ago, but interest in maintaining the rink waned and the rink suffered for it. Seven years ago volunteers got together and developed the idea for the current facility, which features pro maintenance like regular flooding, heated boxes and full service changes rooms, lighting, security camera and much more. It’s the real deal.
The boards themselves came from the Calgary Saddledome. A number of events have already been held, including last winter’s alumni game which was ably spearheaded by volunteer Neil Brown.
Two volunteers run a “pond hockey” group twice a week. Players compete based on age level.
Organizers wanted to make the facility year round, hosting things like ball hockey, floor hockey, roller blading sports, lacrosse and much more so financing was secured to pour what amounted to an almost $400,000 concrete base on the play surface.
Fundraising efforts are focusing on paying off the debt incurred by that project. Hence “The Wall of Fame” was developed. Volunteers are asking community members to pay $25 for a square foot, and the donor’s name will be noted on the front of the facility, “The Wall of Fame.”
PLACE and their supporters have already engaged in their own fundraising, including auctions at the Lakedell Ag Society plus investing their own funds.
Those interested in supporting the rink can call Ryan (780-362-2552), Joan (780-352-1528) or Mike (780-361-9642).