The ConAgra Foods Ice Rink saw smooth skating Sunday along with plenty of stumbles and spills on its last day of operation for the season.
Despite colder temperatures than last year, the ice rink has seen steady numbers, said Chris Kircher, ConAgra’s vice president of corporate affairs.
“It’s been a very successful year as far as the ice rink goes,” Kircher said. “We’ve had good turnout.”
Cooper Mlnarik, 8, said he suggested a day of skating to his mother, Jenni, and his brother, Kellen, 4. “It’s fun,” Cooper said.
Erik Radowski accompanied his girlfriend, Kathleen Moore. Both have ice skated before. “She’s been bugging me to go for, like, two years,” he said.
The two thought it would be a nice way to spend the afternoon.
“It’s better than sitting on the couch,” Radowski said.
ConAgra donates 100 percent of the ice rink’s proceeds to the Food Bank for the Heartland as part of the company’s Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.
The ConAgra Foods Foundation will match donations up to $100,000.
In addition, the public was encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food items and household goods to drop in collection bins around the rink as part of the anti-hunger campaign.
Shine the Light on Hunger’s goal is measured in meals. This year, the company’s goal is to obtain 1.1 million meals.
“On the ice rink, each skater is worth 15 meals for the hungry,” Kircher said.
ConAgra came up with the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign six years ago. ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin wanted a way to give back through the Holiday Lights Festival while incorporating family-friendly events, Kircher said.
“The ice rink was built to be the centerpiece,” Kircher said. “Since then, we’ve seen it grow, and we’ve seen participation community-wide grow.”
ConAgra still is tallying the amount raised this year, he said, but community support has been good.
“We’re very pleased with where things stand and that the community comes together to make the goal we’ve set.”
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