Glenwood offers family skate night |

Glenwood offers family skate night

What made cooks out of a few good cops, kept the Ramirez triplets occupied and entertained 300 people at the same time?

Family skate night at the Glenwood Springs Community Center last Friday night.

Since the rink opened in 2001, the free event is one of the center’s biggest draws.

“It’s part of our mission to bring recreation to the families and this is the night we see it happen,” said Eric Brendlinger, youth program coordinator at the Community Center. “This is our biggest one ever,” he said.

The rink attracts more than 3,500 skaters every season. Before the rink opened, members of the community used to ice the old rodeo lot south of town so the public would have a place to skate.

For the past three or four years, the Glenwood Springs Police Department and YouthZone have collaborated to keep the annual event free. GSPD donated skate rentals, refreshments and cooked more than 300 hot dogs for the crowd.

Throughout the year, GSPD holds fundraisers and receives donations from the community that goes toward crime prevention and youth programs.

“It’s like a big wheel,” Said Sgt. Levy Burris. The public donates money which goes back to the community through outreaches like family skate night.

“We believe in family,” said Patty Schaffner of YouthZone, “It’s really cool for the police to be serving them so the kids meet them in a friendly way,” she said. “It’s healthy for people to be introduced to new recreation and also to be able to do it with their family,” Schaffner said.

A free night of recreation for the whole family is hard to beat. “They did a great thing tonight,” Estella Tarango said.

Barbara Ramirez, who found the evening to be a good outlet for her energetic triplets, was particularly grateful to skate night sponsors.

“I’m sending them a thank-you card,” she said.

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