On October 2, I headed to Haynes Pavilion with my two boys (ages 10 and 13) for the inaugural Rendezvous at the Rink. We arrived a bit late, but with enough time to still get a solid 35-minutes on the ice, which was what we needed to knock the rust and dust off the skates and find our skating legs for the upcoming season.
Todd Ward and Family at Haynes Pavilion
Like the rush of air that hits you as you walk through those sliding glass doors, I was blown away by what was in front... At least 150 people all skating at once. There were figure skaters in the middle working on turns, spins and jumps; mites weaving in and out of traffic chasing each other; High School boys and girls hanging out and taking selfies on the ice; little tikes pushing chairs; beginning adults grabbing onto the side boards like life itself; and even some old timers like me!
There was an energy in the building, more than just the excitement of most of us being on the ice for the first time in almost 6-months, but a certain level of anticipation of what will soon change the landscape for our community for generations to come. It was at that moment it really hit me that a big part of our goal will come to fruition this season, a second sheet of indoor skate-able ice will become a reality in January.
As President of the Gallatin Ice Foundation's Board of Directors, I am reminded every day of the generosity of the hundreds of individual, family and business donors that have stepped up to support the 'Raise the Barn' campaign. This project is a true community partnership and one that I'm incredibly proud to be part of. Together, we are building a community ice facility that will benefit and be home to members of the Gallatin Valley for years to come.
This holiday season, I ask that you please keep the Gallatin Ice Foundation and our local ice community in your thoughts as we near the end of 2016. While we may be realizing one large piece of our goal very soon, there is still more work to be done before we claim victory on year-round ice. Every dollar contributed, large or small, is applied at 100% back to the 'Raise the Ice Barn' campaign and truly does make a difference. To donate, visit www.gallatinicefoundation.org/give or send check to P.O. Box 541 Bozeman, MT 59771.
I thank you so much for your past and continued support, and look forward to seeing everyone at the Ressler Motors Ice Rink Grand Opening Celebration, Jan. 12-14.
Happy Holidays, 
Todd Ward
GIF Board President