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River Falls a finalist in Kraft Hockeyville USA 2020

08/29/2020, 9:45am CDT
By Michael Trzinski, WiPH Staff & Submitted

Four communities are in the running for $150,000 in upgrades


1. Tell us about your community’s spirit as well as its passion for hockey. Can you describe examples of how this came to life?

The Wildcat Centre is entirely run by volunteers and we have no paid employees. Let's face it, hockey is a long season. For most of our families, the Wildcat Centre becomes a home away from home. Strangers become friends and friends become family. River Falls is a small town in the shadows of the Minneapolis/St. Paul hockey market and although Minnesota might be the State of Hockey, our families, coaches and community are passionate about this sport and our rink. Over the years, we have had thousands of skaters lace up their skates in the Wildcat Centre and all of us want to make sure this dream is accessible and affordable for our youth for years to come. The majority of our coaches are volunteers. They dedicate countless hours providing a fun, safe and inclusive environment for the children of River Falls. Walk into the Wildcat Centre on any given weekend during the season and our spirit and sense of community will meet you square in the face!

2. Tell us about your rink. Why is it important to your community and how would the $150,000 be best used to upgrade the rink?

The Wildcat Centre has served our community well for a number of years now. It is aging though. There are necessary upgrades required to ensure all of our future generations are able to experience the wonderful spirit and sense of community within the walls of the Wildcat Centre. Our most pressing need has been the upgrade of our refrigeration system. This is something that will prove beneficial for our community. Quality ice is the backbone of any association and it's critical for us to make sure this component is a strength and not a weakness of our program. Additionally, as with any facility roughly 20 years old, there are other upgrades that need to be made. While our members are passionate and have put their money where their mouths are...we still have needs that are difficult to attain given the size of our association. Any dollars awarded to the Wildcat centre will be greatly appreciated and put to good use. Thank you for your consideration!

3. Why should your community be the next Kraft Hockeyville™ USA?

The Wildcat Centre should be the next Kraft Hockeyville USA winner because we truly do need it and our entire community and hockey family will rally around this and create more and better experiences for the youth in our community. Not only does RFYHA serve the River Falls community, but we also serve Ellsworth and Prescott. These communities are the true definition of the "heartland" of the USA. We are communities of hard working and dedicated families. The type of communities where everyone knows everyone and we all pull together to help one another. It is rare that communities of our size get the recognition that many of the larger, surrounding communities get and this would be viewed as a big success for everyone in our community. We know that local media outlets would also rally round this which would bring more exposure to hockey in general and, quite frankly, the good work that Kraft is doing to help communities like ours. Thanks again for considering the Wildcat Centre!

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