Volunteers step up to bring back town rink

Charles “Butch” Chasse blows leaves and pine needles off the skate rink at Amesbury Town Park to prevent it from marring the ice. Volunteers have been found to help with ice making, but the ice rink is still in need of a volunteer to plow when it snows.BRYAN EATON/Staff Photo

AMESBURY — Waiting with bated breath for the next three consecutive days of freezing weather, residents are still trying to get their annual ice rink underway this winter. 

A group working to bring the rink back this year held a meeting recently in hopes of drawing more volunteers to aid with the sizable project. 

While volunteers have stepped up to help with ice making once the weather allows, there is still a need for volunteers to check in on the rink during the day. Organizers are also looking for individuals who can clean off debris and trash, scrape down the ice from skaters, and — as the snow begins to fall in the coming weeks — to plow.

“We had about 10 people come, and a lot say that they couldn’t come that day, but wanted to volunteer,” said Anne Ferguson, one of the rink coordinators. “We’re really looking for people who can come check in throughout the day, make sure everything’s running smoothly.”

The rink has been a tradition for the last 10 or so years, and was started by longtime Amesbury resident Richard Gale. In the last few years, however, Gale’s health has kept him from being able to maintain the project himself.

Others, like Charles “Butch” Chasse and Joe Kelleher, have joined in to help. But now Kelleher has joined Gale in hanging up his parka, and Chasse is looking for other residents to take up the cause.

With the lack of cold weather this season, it has been increasingly difficult to get the rink up and running.

“It usually only takes about an hour and a half to create the ice rink initially, which Charles and Joe have been doing for the last few years,” Ferguson said. “But they need to have three consecutive days of freezing weather to set the base for it.

“It’s quite a task, but this has just been a great thing over the years, and we’d love to see it continue for many more years,” she added. 

Those interested in helping out this year can contact Chasse at 617-763-9720 or Ferguson at fergfamily5@verizon.net.

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