Perske was wrong about ice arena

Ellarry PrenticeLetter to the Editor, Print Sartell - St. StephenLeave a Comment

Ron Douglas, Sartell

Joe Perske was wrong regarding the Bernick’s Arena in 2003 and wrong again in 2020.

Joe Perske made a statement in 2003 that: “When Bernick’s Arena fails after three years, they will be coming to the city to bail them out.”

Wrong – this never happened!

Perske complains the Pinecone Regional Park is meant for all people, not just hockey…

Let’s look at the uses of Bernick’s Arena and Pinecone Regional Park (throughout) the last 18 years:

• The park and athletic facility is open 12 months of the year. (I do not know of any park or facility that has done this, in Sartell)

• Minnesota Wild Youth hockey spotlight game.

• Wounded Warriors hockey game raised (more than) $30,000 in one night for Wounded Warrior projects.

• Sartell gymnastics in the summer.

• Craft shows: 10 years

• Hairball concerts: 10 years

• Johnny Holm concerts

• Armadillos concerts

• Rock the Block Party fundraisers for the Sartell Fire Department

• March of Dimes fundraiser

• Train shows

• Gun shows

• Pro wrestling

• Mayor 5K Run

• Farmers’ Market

• Hosted church and wedding events

• (More than) 50 hours of open skating per year

• Learn to Skate programs

• Broomball

• Elementary school skate parties

• Men’s leagues

• Open skate for seniors

When it comes to hockey: Teams from all over the state have played hockey at Bernick’s, to the benefit of many businesses in Sartell.

Five kids have received scholarships to play Division I hockey.

Dozens of other kids have gone on to play small college hockey or Junior hockey.

I moved to Sartell 38 years ago and there was no park, athletic field or complex that in my opinion gets more use for all of the community: not baseball, football, track, soccer or others.

Why do we need a second ice rink? In 2003 we had 125 total skaters in all programs. In 2020 we had (more than) 200 skaters just in the mite programs. This does not include squirts, pee wee, bantams or high school.

We have run out of ice time and need a second ice sheet for continuous programs, growth in our community, new programs in figure skating and learn to skate – just to name a few.

I do wish to thank the mayors (past and present) along with the council members for their support of Bernick’s Arena and Scheels Athletic Complex. 

Joe Perske has been opposed to the Bernick’s Arena since conception until now.

He was wrong in 2003 and wrong again in 2020.

Author: Ellarry Prentice

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