Mayor Nutter, Ed Snider Foundation celebrates Grand Reopening of Tarken Ice Rink

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Tarken Ice Rink

Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider welcomes Kaseir Archie and friends John Forsythe (left) and Diquan Jackson to newly renovated Tarken Ice Rink in Northeast Philadelphia. The rink is one of four Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation rescued and renovated with the City of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania.        — Photo Credit: Zack Hill

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, members of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and City officials celebrated the grand re-opening of the newly refurbished Tarken Ice Rink in the Oxford Circle neighborhood. This project was made possible by a personal commitment from Ed Snider, contributions from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation’s Charter Members, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“I want to thank Ed Snider and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation Board for partnering with the City and the Commonwealth to renovate and bring additional programming to four City ice rinks” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter “It is a bold and innovative project that significantly improves our ice rinks and drastically increases public access to recreational activities on the ice throughout the year.”

The completion of the Tarken Ice Rink project is the last in a series of four projects to fully enclose and renovate City ice rinks. The other rinks are the following: The Laura Sims Skatehouse in West Philadelphia, which re-opened on Nov. 22, 2011; the Scanlon Ice Rink in Kensington on Nov. 29, 2011; and the Simons Rink in West Oak Lane on Dec. 9, 2011.

As part of the celebration, the community was invited to a free public skating session immediately following the ceremony. On Sunday, Tarken Ice Rink will host a Community Open House with a public skating session from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

All four ice rinks also feature newly constructed classrooms and learning labs that will now provide more than 35,000 hours of quality, year-round after school programming for children in these neighborhoods. The after-school programs provide youth with valuable supplemental educational services that complement the daily on-ice activities designed to keep students on-track and on-time to graduate.

“These facilities used to only be operational from late November through March. We’ve created NHL-standard rinks, which now keep these kids off the streets 365 days a year during the out-of-school-time hours when they are most vulnerable to undesirable activities,” said Ed Snider.

Snider Hockey first partnered with the City in 2008, when it began operations at City rinks that had been targeted for closure. Recognizing that its after-school skating and supplemental educational programs had an enormously positive impact on children and families, Snider Hockey and the City agreed to expand their partnership to include all City-owned rinks in 2009.

Snider  Hockey  subsequently  reached  a  20-year  agreement  with  the  City
and PIDC to extend this partnership  through  2030.  This  agreement  was  a key component in the Foundation’s decision to make the multi-million dollar investment to renovate four ice rinks that will ensure the long-range sustainability of these vital community resources.

Flyers founder Ed Snider created Snider Hockey in 2005 as a personal commitment to teach children important life lessons. The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite communities. It uses the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the ‘game of life’. Snider Hockey services are targeted for inner-city boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate or to play ice hockey. The program has rapidly grown to include more than 3,000 students.

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