This is a guest post from Jim White, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Volunteers of America, Colorado Branch.
When I walk by the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park in Denver, I’m immediately drawn in by the great music that’s always playing, the sound of children laughing, and the sight of people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying their day together.
You might see a skating party, downtown workers at lunch, students, or other members of the community out and about. (We’ve even seen the mayor take a spin on ice skates!) The rink draws a diverse crowd because of its great outdoor location, and even those who don’t want to try their luck on ice skates can enjoy the ambiance. To me, there’s nothing else in the city that’s quite like the rink.
The best part of the Southwest Rink is that it’s free for everybody to enjoy. The skate rentals are usually a nominal $2, but, just like last winter, if you bring mittens, gloves, or stocking caps for the Volunteers of America’s homeless mission, Southwest will waive the fee. Additionally, Southwest will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from broomball games played at the rink to the VOA.
Last year, the VOA served 250,000 individuals in 30 programs—from three- and four-year-olds in our Head Start program to community members in their 90s who receive Meals on Wheels. In order to make this kind of a difference in our communities, we count on wonderful volunteers to help us achieve our mission.
This year, Southwest donated funds that the VOA used for holiday and winter relief programs. And we were lucky enough to win a basketball-shooting contest that Southwest hosted, where the winning charity received a $5,000 check from the airline. That money has helped us feed thousands of people and provide hundreds of nights of shelter for homeless women and their children. Our staff and volunteers enjoy time together at the rink and not just the scenery and skating. Knowing also that our charity is being helped makes the rink a spot that really works for us.
When the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park first opened four years ago, I knew it was a place I would LUV. Thank you, Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Denver Partnership, for making a positive difference in Denver and for creating a place where our community can gather.