Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

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

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad