Upon hearing the news that Coleraine’s Hodgins-Berardo Arena was closed without warning on Feb. 11 due to structural ceiling beam damage, the Greenway Joint Recreation Association scrambled to find an alternate location for a Mite tournament scheduled there on Feb. 14-16. What happened next proved to be another example of collaboration between communities.
Jason Mallum and Barb Gibeau of the Greenway Joint Recreation Association approached LaPrairie Mayor Mike Fall and Clerk Marilyn Carlson about using their outdoor rink for the tournament, where approximately 250 area youth and families were expected. The city officials were happy to help. Fall opened the LaPrairie City Hall for a “concession” area. In addition, Grand Rapids Public Works Director Jeff Davies sent a Zamboni over, which was stored in the city garage when not in use. In addition, Davies arranged for a city employee to work at the tournament all weekend to maintain good ice. With great weather, participants reported a “wonderful” event.