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PEPPERELL — Saturday afternoon, the snow stopped falling and the troops mobilized to prepare the rink for the opening celebration. Dan Manley cleared the rink with his snowblower while volunteers cleared the pathways to the ice. Dave Herman, DJ Connections, arrived from the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby and set up his equipment. Mike Spengler, Restore Hockey, dropped off a barrel of hockey sticks for use at the rink and Pepperell mom, Andrea Roush, delivere two tubs of hockey skates donated by Restore Hockey for perspective skaters.

No sooner was music resonating in the air, but Mike Landino’s boy scout troop #13 arrived bringing hot chocolate and snacks, and Melanie Landino’s girl scout troop #34062 displayed the seasonal girl scout cookies for sale.

The afternoon brought waves of people to the rink to enjoy a glide around ice, trade out skates for this year’s size, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows, and to thank the Friends of Pepperell and the many volunteers who set up the rink and opened it for winter fun!

The shine of the ice rink was quickly covered with the shaved ice as dozens of skaters enjoyed skating to music donated by new Pepperell resident, Dave Herman. At a recent scout meeting, an announcement was made about the rink opening. Dave quickly passed along his business card and graciously agreed to play music for the event. He started with the Peanut’s well known piano tunes, continued with many popular favorites from today and years’ past. The music brought a happy energy to the event.

The Friends of Pepperell purchased two hockey nets, assembled on Saturday, to leave at the rink for all to enjoy. They are trusting in people’s good nature to leave them at the rink for the season, and will store them away for the rink next year. The Friends of Pepperell also purchased four shovels to leave at the rink, in hopes of encouraging skaters to help clear the ice when it snows. Great thanks to Kathleen Santeufemio who helped the Friends clear the ice on two recent snowy mornings!

At 5 o’clock, the rink lights flickered on, and people enjoyed the rink til darkness fell at 9pm when the lights turned off.

The Friends of Pepperell would like to thank Rich Colangelo for all his time in coordinating the build of the rink. It has been a learning experience for the Friends of Pepperell. They are sure that with the things they learned this year, that next year the rink will be even better!!

The rink will be open every day until 9pm, with lights going on each day at 5 p.m. If the surface is too wet or soft, the rink will close for that day, and reopen as soon as freezing allows. The town rink will remain open, weather permitting, through February and March as dictated by the temperatures and quality of ice.

Volunteers are needed when it comes time to take down the rink and most certainly for next year. If you have time and energy, your help is always welcome. If you think you have an idea to improve the rink? The Friends of Pepperell welcomes your input and your volunteered time to bring your input to realization.

The next meeting of this dynamic group is Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m. at Pepperell’s Lawrence Library.

The Friends of Pepperell are currently seeking volunteers to join one of our committees:

* Town Wide Yard Sale Committee

* Used Bike Sale Committee

* Paved Walking Track Exploration Committee

These are short-term commitments. If you would like to explore joining our group, any of these opportunities is a great way to see what we are all about.

Mark your calendar for April 28th. The Annual Bike Sale will be from 9-12 and the town will come alive with yard sales dispersed along the 80 miles of roads in town from Town Field and beyond.

Bike donations accepted now through sale. Please drop off at: 43 Elm Street, Pepperell MA.

Yard Sale Registrations accepted now through April 15.

For information visit our website: www.friendsofpepperell.org or info@friendsofpepperell.org or call 978-835-0133

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