PNCS students skate their way to $4,300 for the Dapp outdoor rink

Grade 7 PNCS student Ava Jensen takes a break from the school Skate-a-Thon which raised $4,300 for the Dapp outdoor skating rink.

With files from Olivia Bako, Westlock News - Students at Pembina North Community School (PNCS) laced up their skates Jan. 19 for the school’s annual Skate-a-Thon, raising $4,300 for the Dapp outdoor skating rink and heated skate shack, operated by the Dapp Community Council. Last year’s event raised $2,885.

Principal Darcie Eamor says the Skate-a-Thon is an opportunity for the students to work together to give back to the community to support the rink which they use daily for Phys. Ed classes, lunch-time scrimmage and after school recreation.

“While the goal is to raise funds for the rink, the Skate-a-Thon is also an opportunity for our Jr. High students to demonstrate leadership with our younger students,” said Eamor. “The best part of the day for me was watching our Grade 8 and 9 students help our Grade ones out on the ice.”

In recent years, the Skate-a-Thon’s format has changed, says PNCS administrative assistant Jan Borst, who has organized the last two Skate-a-Thons. Instead of completing the traditional 100 laps around the rink after school, students now spend their gym hour participating in obstacle courses and skills competitions. “The teachers try to make it challenging,” said Borst. While the Kindergarten students ran relays wearing their boots, the older students skated around pylons or played a little ringette.

Borst says the community is very supportive of the Skate-a-Thon coming out during the day to help tie skates and watch the kids out on the rink. “It’s important to support the Dapp Community Council,” said Borst. “We’re really grateful because it’s all community members who come out and make the ice, clear the ice and look after everything. ”

As well as sending out the forms, tallying the money and sending the donations to the Dapp Community Council, Borst collects prizes for the students.

The name of each student who raises more than $20 is entered into a draw and there are grand prizes for the top three fundraisers. This year Grade 2 student Memphis Durand was the top fundraiser, bringing in $645. For his efforts he received a $25 Toys-r-Us Gift Card along with a cool blow-up couch.

Borst says the Skate-a-Thon is a worthwhile cause. “I hope to see the tradition continue for many years to come. I have grown children who remember skating laps back when they were in early elementary school, and they still use the rink for playing pick-up hockey with their friends in the evenings and on the weekends. Having an accessible outdoor rink with a heated skate shack is a wonderful thing for the local community and we are glad to do our part as a school to keep the rink available to everyone.”

Published Feb 2, 2017