The father of a young man in whose memory people gave nearly $50,000 to renovate an ice rink said a board overseeing those funds seeks to accommodate hockey and pickleball at Wright Twp. Recreation Park.
“There’s no reason you can’t have roller hockey, an ice rink and pickleball on the mountain. The goal is to make that happen,” Butch Kahlau said.
A campaign on gofundme.com raised $49,389 to renovate the park’s ice rink in memory of Kahlau’s son, Tanner, and Brian Madry, two young men who played hockey and attended Crestwood High School. Kahlau died in a skiing accident this winter and Madry in an automobile crash in 2011.
Of the 741 donors to the online fundraiser, 14 gave at least $500. More than 160 others gave at least $100 to support hockey and skating in Mountain Top in the names of the two Crestwood students.
Despite efforts starting in the heart of winter, some renovations were made and the rink was frozen for the first time in several years. But in May, the township supervisors began discussing whether to put pickleball courts on the rink.
In Mountain Top, interest has grown in pickleball, a game like tennis played on a smaller court with a whiffle ball and paddles. The supervisors made a motion in May to earmark $2,000 to go with donations of $3,000 to put pickleball on the rink. During the July meeting, the supervisors received a new estimate of $13,000 for pickleball but took no vote.
“Why wouldn’t I want pickleball? People love to play. It’s a fun sport,” said Butch Kahlau, who added that a rink can also be a vibrant part of the community.
While a young man who played hockey with Tanner led the gofundme campaign, Kahlau said the money now is in a bank. He and his wife and Madry’s parents are among the members of a board overseeing the funds.
“We are coming up with a plan … for them to be utilized,” Kahlau said.
A banner for Tanner Kahlau and Brian Madry hung over the rink this winter. Also Tanner’s name has been added to a scholarship program begun in Madry’s memory and funded by an annual hockey game.
Even after three decades as a reporter at the Standard-Speaker, Kent Jackson still enjoys meeting people, learning more about the community and sharing stories with readers. He currently covers schools but has reported on local government, health, police and the environment. Regularly, he writes about outdoor sports, wildlife and conservation for the Wildlife page on Sundays. Contact: 570-455-3636; firstname.lastname@example.org