ROCKPORT — The Midcoast Recreation Center is up for a grant of up to $10,000 from WinterKids to start a public skating and tennis program in nearby underserved communities.
Recipients will be selected by online community votes throughout September. Each person can vote by email until September 30 by visiting WinterKids.org/D24Fund and selecting MRC on the website.
If the RCN receives this award, it will launch a Pay It Forward program inspired by some of the RCN’s young hockey players, Dexter and John Falla. In 2021, Dexter and John had an idea. They wanted all the kids in their community to be able to skate whenever they wanted.
For their ninth anniversary, they forgone gifts and instead asked everyone they knew to donate skates for their Pay It Forward program. In partnership with the MRC and the St. George Parks and Recreation Department, their family set up a lending library/locker next to their community’s outdoor rink. All winter, members of the community borrowed skates and spent time at the rink, all for free!
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Now, MRC wants to expand its idea of providing skating and tennis equipment lending libraries in nearby underserved communities to give more people access to skating, hockey and tennis.
A donor has already come forward and volunteered to build the lending libraries, and the CRM is seeking grants to cover the remaining costs. If the grant is received, MRC will also provide free or low-cost programs at each site for more community members to learn to skate and play hockey and tennis – all of life’s sports. This program is part of the MRC’s mission to promote healthy living in the community through a fitness and sports program.
“The MRC is grateful for all of the support it receives from the community and asks each reader to take a moment to support this exciting new project and venture that will benefit many people in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties” , said Jesse Simko of the MRC. “John and Dexter are also thrilled to see their idea grow into a larger community ‘Pay It Forward’ movement giving everyone the chance to skate and play outdoor hockey and tennis.”