Members of Madison Ice look ahead after mechanical fire

An ice rink in Madison is looking for some extra help after a fire left the rink iceless for a few days.
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 8:18 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An ice rink in Madison is looking for some extra help after a fire left the rink iceless for a few days.

After the fire that broke the freezing equipment, Madison Ice had trouble getting their rinks to be firm enough to skate on. Now that they are back on the ice, people in the community wonder if the system will hold up.

Ice skating and friendships come to mind when people think of the rink. Skater Erin Herrick said she loves meeting new people at the arena.

“The friends and the relationships you make with other teammates from different areas,” Herrick said.

Madison Ice lost power last week which led to a mechanical fire. While no one was hurt, damage was done to the freezing equipment. As the technology continues to age, there’s more risk to permanent loss.

Skaters in the area hope their rink stays afloat. The arena houses synchronized skating, learn to skate sessions and hockey teams.

Hattie Withrow and her teammate Mavis Kim say it’s a place filled with memories.

“We both started doing learn to skate in this rink. Doing all the lessons has been fun. I even started teaching for lessons,” Withrow said.

Coach Emily Dehmer said the fire was a wakeup call. Not only did she want to help her teams but also a place that many call home. Dehmer started a GoFundMe.

“Emily and Bailey have been doing amazing stuff for us making this program and making us better skaters overall,” Withrow said.

Dehmer said it’s not an option to go somewhere else because of the high demand for ice time.

“When a rink--any rink is not functioning-- you can’t just pick up and go somewhere else because those rinks are already full,” Dehmer said.

If something else were to happen to these rinks and the community does not come together to fundraise for new equipment, many say they would be devastated.

“This is what I do,” Dehmer said. “This my livelihood and as well the livelihoods of others it would be a huge shock.”

In the name of skating, the community is hoping to keep the arena around for many more years.

The GoFundMe raised over $8,000 in three days.

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