Reed Toussaint, Tavish Beagle and Dutch Felt pose for a photo at the outdoor rink at Rimbey Elementary School, which they are fundraising to renovate so it can be used year-round. (Photo by Rachel Dietz Photography)

Reed Toussaint, Tavish Beagle and Dutch Felt pose for a photo at the outdoor rink at Rimbey Elementary School, which they are fundraising to renovate so it can be used year-round. (Photo by Rachel Dietz Photography)

Rimbey brewery partners with students to fundraise for rink renovations

Hawk Tail Brewery is helping three Grade 8 students fundraise to improve a local outdoor rink

Hawk Tail Brewery has partnered with three Grade 8 students to raise money for the outdoor rink at Rimbey Elementary School.

Reed Toussaint, Tavish Beagle and Dutch Felt currently Grade 8 students at Rimbey Junior Senior High School, inspired the Community Takes Flight initiative at Hawk Tail Brewery.

Allison Goodwin, from the brewery, says she was inspired after she heard the three students had raised $25,000 for the rink project when they were only in Grade 6.

“I really want to get it built,” Toussaint adds. “I’m proud of being able to raise as much money as we did and now I feel bad that I moved on to high school and it’s not built yet.”

Goodwin says one dollar from every flight board sold at Hawk Tail Brewery will be donated to the project until it is completed.

“When I heard about this project, and what these boys were doing, I wanted to help guide them and help breathe life into this project again,” Goodwin said.

Some cosmetic work was planned for the outdoor rink as part of the renovations, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

The project has not made much headway since spring of last year when the renovations where slated to begin.

The goal is to give the outdoor rink a concrete foundation so it can be used by the community all year round, says Robyn MacEachern, who first helped oversee initiative by the students.

“Hawk Tail has been so supportive of the community and in this particular project,” MacEachern said. “They are a great example of a community business supporting community projects.”

Toussaint says he is a “huge fan” of both hockey and outdoor rinks.

“The [Rimbey Elementary] School used to have a rink and my Dad helped build it a few winters but it was deemed too old and unsafe to use,” he said.

The project began for the three students through a school leadership program where they saw the need for improvements and the ability to fundraise to get them completed.

Goodwin says it is important, now more than every, to have safe outdoor places for children and adults to play and be active.

“Especially now with COVID, and people not having a place to go, it could really help people get outside and be happy,” Toussaint said.

“I didn’t realize it at the time but sport was a very positive place for me as a kid,” Goodwin said.

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