Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

November 25, 2012

Donations sought for community rink

BENZONIA - Jack Rineer doesn't do it to be thanked.

For more than four decades, Rineer has been the man behind a beloved community ice rink in Benzonia. He builds and maintains a roughly one-acre rink at Academy Park along U.S. 31, and he shouldered most or all of the rink's cost for most of its existence.

Rineer has put in countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars into the effort, but has no regrets. His payment comes when elderly visitors relive memories as they watch young skaters on the rink, or when children who brim with anticipation stop him in the grocery store and ask him when it will be open for the winter.

"There's no way to measure the personal satisfaction that I've received over the years, even though this has hurt me, it's frozen my lungs and my health is probably not as good as it should be because of it," he said.

The villages of Benzonia and Beulah kicked in a few thousand dollars each year for a decade or so to help cover fuel costs. A few years ago, when Rineer said he planned to retire in part because of the rink's ongoing costs, the community rallied.

"Basically, everyone I know was talking about it. We all like to skate, and we were horrified at the prospect there wouldn't be a rink," said Dennis Pace, a Benzonia-area resident who now helps raise money. "And nobody thought Jack didn't deserve some help after all of those years."

Pace heads an effort to reimburse Rineer for the roughly $8,000 cost of building and maintaining the rink. This is the third year -- Pace covered the entire cost the first year and was pretty close the next -- and he hopes the community will continue to be generous.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Florida State Ends Top Of the 5th With Bizarre Play vs Jacksonville | ACC Must See Moment Kate Upton Loves Her Body, Every Part Of It Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things"