By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
The Havre Youth Hockey Association will be rolling up the red carpet at the Havre Ice Dome this spring and replacing the well-worn fabric with more durable rubber tiles.
Sections of the carpet - which were donated by local businesses and Ice Dome supporters - are wearing thin, prompting the hockey association to organize a fund-raiser to finance their replacement. The group plans to raise more than $12,000, enough to pay for 4,000 square feet of rubber tile that will cover the floor of the dome's entrance, walkways and locker rooms.
"It's cleaner, easier to maintain, better for skates, and improves the property value of the building," said Renee Rolf, who is part of a committee working to pay for the upgrade. "This tile is made for cleats and skates and weightlifting rooms. They're tough."
The committee, composed of Rolf, Teresa Jensen and Janine Donoven, will begin selling bricks later this month to raise the money for the tiles. The bricks cost $35 apiece, or $50 for a set of two. Sponsors can also make larger donations by purchasing a bronze brick for $100, a silver brick for $250 or a gold brick for $500.
Donors' names will be engraved into the bricks, which will be built into the south and west walls of the upper deck of the arena - the planned location for additional seating, a conference room and a hockey pro shop. Any money raised that exceeds the $12,000 for the rubber tiles will be put toward the upper-deck project, Rolf said, adding that it is expected to cost about $70,000.
"Obviously, we're not expecting to raise that much," she said, "but anything we have left over will go toward that."
Rolf proposed the brick fund-raiser to the Havre Youth Hockey Association after learning of a similar effort in Stettler, Alberta, she said. There, a hockey arena was partially funded by members of the community through a brick sponsorship drive. Rolf brought pictures back and made the proposal to the hockey association.
"I thought maybe we could have something like that here," Rolf said. "The board told us to run with it."
Rolf approached Donoven, who operates J.M. Donoven Designs in Fine Jewelry in Havre with her husband, Jerry, about engraving the bricks with a laser.
"We've worked real closely with the hockey association during the last couple years, and we were looking for other ways to help support it," Janine Donoven said. "Renee contacted me and asked if we would be able to etch an engraving on the brick. I set the laser program and it turned out awesome, so that's what kind of launched this."
Donoven said strong past support for the Ice Dome leads her to believe that this fund-raiser will also be successful.
"I thought it was an excellent opportunity for the hockey association to reach out to the community. I think with tax season, there are lot of people who will be willing to donate and help out. This is a great way to help the hockey association, and no pun intended, set your name in stone," she said.
The benefits of the Ice Dome go beyond providing a place for youths to play hockey, Donoven added.
"I know too, that the hockey association has brought a lot of people to town over the past couple years, which has a huge economic impact on our city," she said.
The bricks will go on sale beginning Jan. 22 during a hockey game, Rolf said.
The tiles, which are 2 by 3 feet and and weigh 55 pounds apiece, will be purchased from a Minnesota company. They come with a 20-year life expectancy, though some areas may wear out faster than others, Rolf said.
"The spots where kids are coming out of the locker rooms, those you may have to replace more," she said.
Unlike carpet, replacing areas of rubber tiles is not a huge inconvenience, Rolf added.
"The tiles are so heavy, you don't have to use any glue to get them to stick," she said. "If you need to change one, you just pull it out and flop another one in there."