Ice rink expected to open before Christmas

Marcy Strazer, helping at a recent work party to put together the ice rink at Enterprise, has been hired as the ice rink manager this year. The rink is expected to be ready for skaters around Dec. 20. Photo by Elane Dickenson

Coincidentally, the week after Enterprise ice skating rink was put together by a corps of some 30 volunteers at Enterprise City Park in mid-November, record high temperatures for were being recorded around the region. Everyone knew winter would eventually arrive however, and the second phase of the rink construction rink - putting down the liner and filling it with water - was accomplished this past weekend.

"The water is freezing now," said Marcy Strazer, who has been hired by the Enterprise Home Improvement Group to act as pool manager this year. Strazer said that as long as the nights are cold, even if the days are a little longer, the rink should be ready for skaters in 10 or so days. "We're shooting for around Dec. 20, or at least before Christmas," Strazer said.

This will be the second winter for the rink, and last year's experience whetted the appetite for hockey players, would-be-figure skaters, children, families and any one who can strap on a skate.

The City of Enterprise showed its support for the ice rink this week by voting to give $3,000 of hotel/motel tax money to the recreation project.

"I can really feel the enthusiasm this year," said Marcy, who got involved with the rink last winter playing ice hockey with a group of women.

A native of Oregon, Marcy Strazer has been living in Wallowa County for the past two years.

While she's now a winter sport rec director, much of her adult life has been spent in the tropics rather than close to frozen ice. She is currently working as an independent writer on a book about small coffee produce in the Caribbean," with the topic coming out of several years spent in Haiti.

This summer she was married at St. Katherine's Church in Enterprise to Brian Concannon,a human rights lawyer she's known for about five years and is basically commuting back and forth between Haiti and Wallowa County, spending approximately two-thirds of his time here.

Strazer is graduate of the University of Oregon 1989 with a degree in economics and history and later attended graduate school in Michigan, obtaining a masters degree in applied ecology in 1997.

She spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Congo, worked with refugees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and worked in Haiti with the United Nations as a human rights observer. For three-and-a-half years she then worked as a program coordinator to fight poverty in Haiti for a humanitarian agency called Oxfam.

"I was away from Oregon for 10 years. I needed a break," said Strazer about her reason for leaving Haiti.

Supported mostly by donations and such funds as the City of Enterprise grant just received, the ice rink will be free to most users. The exceptions are people who want to use the facility for profit, such as giving private lessons; or those who want to rent the rink exclusively, for such activities as birthday parties.

"Outside of that, it will be free skating," said Strazer.

EHIG is also conducting a raffle for donated prizes as a rink fund raiser. Prizes include such items as a remote control car from Radio Shack, a night for two at Chandler's bed and breakfast in Joseph, a massage from Crystal Locke and a $50 gift certificate from Wallowa Outdoors. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5, available from EHIG or next weekend at a table at Safeway.

This coming weekend will come the third phase of rink construction by volunteers, the placing of corners and a protective cap around the liner. The top layer of water will be applied before skating starts.

Next week a schedule of activities, still in the organizational stage, are expected to be placed at the rink. Skating lessons, adult hockey and youth hockey are all planned. "We're open to suggestions," said Strazer. Up-to-date information about the Enterprise Ice Rink is available on a hot line number, 519-8937, and suggestions or questions can also be left on an answering machine at that number.

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