Three Rimbey youth have a lot to be proud of.
Starting two years ago, while they were in Grade 6, Reed Tousaint, Tavish Beagle and Dutch Felt were part of a WE Group in school where they set to work on a project to help their community.
“We chose to build a rink,” said Tousaint.
According to Kathleen Beagle, Tavish’s mom, the existing outdoor rink is on a grass field and due to the deterioration of the wood is basically condemned.
The planning for the new arena started small, with the boys planning for the bare minimum of a replacement for the rink.
However, the boys plans resonated within the community.
“A lot of people liked the idea and donated and grants worked out,” said Tousaint.
In fundraising alone, the boys succeeded in raising nearly $31,000 through a variety of means.
The boys sold hot chocolate at a Christmas concert and helped with a pancake breakfast for the Lions. The school is also getting on board with an upcoming pizza fundraiser.
Recently, the group announced that they had received a grant worth just under $99,000 through the Community Enhancement Facility Enhancement Program administered by the province.
With the increased funding available to them for the project, the sights have now turned towards making the facility a true year-round venue.
There is discussion towards having the interior of the rink paved to allow for roller hockey and basketball during the summer months, and the placement of good quality puck-board around the edges to ensure the durability of the site.
They are hoping to finalize the layout within the next several weeks and have the construction begin when the snow is off the ground.
For the construction phase of the project, the school’s woods-class and several other volunteers have offered to help with labour. Hockey Alberta has offered to purchase new basketball nets for the rink.
To help with the ongoing costs of the new rink, there is discussion being held around having sponsorship on the boards similar to what is seen at most arenas.
According to Kathleen, the logos would be redesigned by elementary students to “make them more child friendly.”
In the meantime, while most of the funding for the project is secure the boys are still working on other grants as well.
If all goes well with the construction phase of the project, the rink should be open for use by thw summer of 2022.