Rosa Parks Cicle is a small park in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids. It is often used as a public music venue in the summertime, and an ice skating rink in the winter. Unfortunately, this year it was scheduled to remain closed (like so many parks facilities and pools in the area) due to a citywide budget crunch. Here is where businesses and private individuals step up and take the baton where the local government fails. Two businesses (LaSalle Bank and Centennial Wireless) have written checks to the city, providing the needed funds to run the rink, on a limited basis. The Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation, a tax-exempt organization affiliated with the city’s American Hockey League franchise, will also be providing free skate rentals to those who need them.
While I don’t ice skate very often, every time I do head downtown in the evening to the Rosa Parks Circle. The ice rink is packed with people of all ages skating around and having a great time. From all of us who use the facility, a big thank you to LaSalle Bank, Centennial Wireless, and the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation for your contributions and for keeping skating downtown available to all.