Whit­ney Pier rink to re­main open

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY KYLE LARUSIC kyle.larusic@cb­post.com Kyle LaRusic is a sec­ondyear stu­dent in the jour­nal­ism pro­gram at Hol­land Col­lege in Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I. He is on a four-week in­tern­ship at the Cape Bre­ton Post.

Af­ter be­ing a fix­ture in the com­mu­nity for 50 years, the Whit­ney Pier Rink will re­main stand­ing.

A meet­ing, which at­tracted about 60 peo­ple, was held on Thurs­day even­ing to talk about the fu­ture of the build­ing.

Kim Shep­pard, a mem­ber of the rink’s board of di­rec­tors, said a com­mit­tee is in place and will work to keep the fa­cil­ity open.

“We had play­ers from the men’s hockey league play­ing at our rink and oth­ers around the com­mu­nity to help make sure this rink stays in our com­mu­nity,” said Shep­pard.

Shep­pard also said how much the rink means to the com­mu­nity of Whit­ney Pier.

“It re­ally means the world to them. Not ev­ery­body wants to drive into town for ev­ery­thing. It’s nice to have some­where you can walk to and have fun in your own com­mu­nity.”

The rink also has a part­ner­ship with the Whit­ney Pier Boys and Girls Club where free ice time is given to the chil­dren for good deeds such as clean­ing up garbage.

Prob­lems be­gan when hockey teams left the Pier Rink to play on the new ice sur­faces in Mem­ber­tou. With the loss of the teams came a loss of rev­enue.

Shep­pard said the ad­di­tion of a gen­tle­men’s hockey league will boost rentals and the board hopes to host such events as par­ties, dances and flea mar­kets.

The board also plans on fundrais­ing.

“We haven’t de­cided on the type of fundrais­ing yet but we have plenty of peo­ple who are vol­un­teer­ing their time to make sure it hap­pens.”

The Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment have pro­vided some funding.

The money will be used to help pay the power bill as well as fund equip­ment and re­pairs.

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