In an effort to bring families together to keep kids out of trouble and to raise money for their efforts, the Howell Township Municipal Alliance held its first Skate Day at the on Saturday.
With nearly 60 tickets sold, parents and children bonded as they skated around the rink. For those that came out, they had a chance to win some great prizes, including New Jersey Devils Hockey tickets that were being raffled off.
Amongst the attendees was Jackson resident Vanessa Basile, who brought her 7 year-old-daughter Cristiana and her friend, 6-year-old Kaelynn. “We are having a great time. It’s a really good social event with a lot of people. We thought it would be a good opportunity to teach Kaelynn how to skate,” Vanessa Basile said. “The kids are having a great time. I hope I win the raffle!”
According to Ice World’s Special Events Coordinator, Daryl O’Connell, the facility enjoys working with organizations for fundraising events. “Ice World is thrilled to have the Alliance here. We look forward to having it in the future,” O’Connell said on behalf of Ice World’s owner, George Haviland.
According to the Alliance’s Director, Ralph Hoffman, the Howell Township Municipal Alliance helps to better the community with a focus on drug and alcohol prevention. Hoffman explained that family structure today is not what it was over 20 years ago when families used to sit down at the dinner table together and go over their days.
He said it's the goal of the Alliance to bring families back together, even if it’s just for a few hours. And, through holding a fundraiser such as Skate Day, the non-profit is not only able to bring families together, but to also raise money to assist those who need it.
Hoffman said since the Alliance was started 20 years ago it has provided health care to people who did not have it, helped a child with cancer who needed transportation to Houston for an operation and provides Christmas presents during the holidays among other projects. Additionally, the organization looks at risks factors for drug and alcohol use in the town and plans programs to counteract problems.
Having a facility like Ice World in the town helped to make the event even more special for Hoffman and those in attendance. "Ice World just started out about 18 months ago and has been very popular," Hoffman added. "In the winter there's not much to do in New Jersey unless you ski or ice skate, so we thought it would be a good idea to have this event."
The Alliance's biggest fundraiser is a golf tournament held in May. For more information on the Howell Township Municipal Alliance, visit the Township website.