The wait has been long, but skaters of every level were at Playland Ice Casino for its official reopening October 30, nearly two years after it was almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
The wait has been long, but skaters of every level were at Playland Ice Casino for its official reopening October 30, nearly two years after it was almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. However, in the mean time all of us were occupied with online gaming from top sites sorted by Mike and now we are finally getting to see the official opening.
It came just in the nick of time for the Manhattanville College Men’s and Women’s Teams, the Rye Rangers, the Rye Figure Skating Club, and the Rye High School Team whose tryouts begin November 10.
This is a big year for the Garnets, who are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the varsity program, and have a new coaching staff headed by Peter Thomas. As a player for Rye High, Thomas, helped win four Section 1 Championships and one regional title. He was an assistant coach for the Garnets for a decade before being elevated to the top job. Thomas has big ideas for the team, and, notably, a number of community service initiatives planned for them to participate in.
“Our first community service initiative is the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. The team as well as my assistant coach and I are raising money and taking the plunge on November 15 at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle,” said Thomas. “As a team we have already raised over $2,500 and that ranks us as the second largest fundraising group. We expect that we will finish up as the top team, as we will on the ice!”
The Garnets will also be actively taking part in the “Hockey vs. Hunger” initiative to collect non-perishable food items for the Carver Center. The program will take place over a two-week period in January in which the team will be setting up collection boxes at the school and the rink. “Additionally, we will be asking spectators to bring food items for donation to our two home games at Playland during the two-week period.”
In February, they will host a Rye Hockey Fights Cancer event at Playland, the same night they play Pelham. “We worked with Shane Coppola and Mark Zito at Playland Ice on this event, and they have graciously agreed to donate the entire gate from that game to our charity, which is the new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Harrison. We will not only raise money for this charity, but as a team will personally deliver our donation to MSKCC and tour the facility.”
The night of the season opener, against Iona, December 3, the Rye high Chorus will sing the National Anthem from the balcony. There will be a moment of silence for Peter Collins, followed by the dedication of the Collins Cup, which is to be awarded to the most spirited team player at the end of the season. Mark your calendars for December 17, the 40th anniversary celebration, when they welcome all Rye Hockey alumni and play White Plains.
This has all the makings of a beautiful season.