Kremmling-area ranchers pledge $10,000 to Roof the Rink effort |

Kremmling-area ranchers pledge $10,000 to Roof the Rink effort

Courtesy photoBode Culbreath makes a save during a Cattle Kings' Squirts hockey game this season.

Kremmling’s “Roof the Rink” project has just gotten a big boost with a large donation from a local rancher.

Sponsored by the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association, the goal of the project is to build a protective roof over the ice skating/hockey rink at the Red Mountain Sports Complex on the town’s eastern edge. The complex is owned by the town.

The latest donation for the project is for $10,000. It was made by Sean and Guida Flanigan of the Lazy Shamrock Ranch near Heeney.

“Despite not having any kids in the hockey program themselves, they feel that this will be a great benefit to all the kids in the community for many years to come,” said Frank Culbreath, president of Cattle Kings Youth Hockey League. “This puts us even closer to our goal, but we are still looking for more donors.”

This latest $10,000 donation is being added to the $20,000 that was netted for the project last month. The Grand County Board of County Commissioners made a $15,000 commitment to the project, and an additional $5,000 donation was made by Northwest Supply of Kremmling.

These new donations totaling $30,000 have moved the project closer to its goal. The funds are being added to the $192,000 that has already been committed to the project by other donors as well as the $44,690 in club savings that the Cattle Kings have already raised for the project.

“We’re still shy about $70,000,” Culbreath said. “We’re moving forward, but we’re not there yet. We’re hoping other donors will step forward soon.”

A key factor in the project’s finances is the $200,000 grant that has been promised from GOCO (Greater Colorado Outdoors). However, the “catch” to that state-funded grant is that the construction of the “Roof the Rink” project must be completed by the end of 2008 for it to be awarded.

The total estimated price tag for the “Roof the Rink” project is $554,000. Once the remaining funds have been secured, the ordering of construction materials can be done.

The Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association has been working on the “Roof the Rink” project for the past four years. The all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has sought out and applied for most of the grants and donations that have already been obtained for the project.

The purpose for wanting to build a roof over the skating/hockey rink at the Red Mountain Sport Complex is to help preserve its skating surface. The rink’s unshaded ice easily melts under direct sunlight, even on cold winter days.

Because the rink is uncovered, Culbreath said the ice is no longer usable for hockey practice. In recent weeks, the Cattle Kings have had to travel to Oak Creek to practice on its rink, which is roofed.

“It’s amazing how long the ice stays on a rink like Oak Creek’s that is covered,” Culbreath said.

By building a roof over the Red Mountain rink, the improved ice conditions are expected to add at least a month of playing time on either side of the Cattle Kings’ season. This would also eliminate the need for Grand County hockey players to travel to Breckenridge and Eagle, where they have to pay to practice on their indoor rinks.

With reliable ice on its rink in Kremmling, the Cattle Kings would also be able to host more hockey games. This is expected to give the local community an economic boost as out-of-county teams stay overnight and eat in local restaurants.

Beyond the economic benefits to the community, a roofed rink will not only improve the ice skating and hockey, but will provide a facility for year-round use at the Red Mountain Sports Complex.

To make all this possible, the additional funding must be found. Those interested in making donations to the project should contact Culbreath at (970) 724-9768.

All donations will go to the Cattle Kings Youth Hockey Association. The funds will then be transferred to the Town of Kremmling because it owns the Red Mountain Sports Complex where the rink is located.

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