How many of you are aware that the Guidant John Rose Minnesota OVAL is the largest sheet of refrigerated ice in North America and one of only three refrigerated speed skating ovals in the entire United States?
It is truly a Roseville community treasure and on any given day you might see speed skating events, hockey practice and tournaments, US Bandy games and open public skating. During the summer the surface is well utilized as an in-line skating track and skate park.
The Friends of the OVAL Foundation was formed in 1993 to help raise funds to build the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL and Skating Center. They continue to raise funds today in order to keep both the indoor hockey and figure skating rink and the outdoor, Olympic caliber skating facility, in excellent working order for all user groups.
In 2012 capital improvements funded by the foundation included an updated media interface for Cable TV as well as internet broadcasts, and a new timing system for the OVAL. User groups now have the capability of:
- Web streaming LIVE events from both the Outdoor Oval and the Indoor Ice Arena. Each User Group has the ability to produce their own events using
volunteers from within their own group and cameras that the Foundation has
- Collaborating with CTV for televised events.
- Under the leadership, and a whole lot of sweat equity, of Foundation board member Rich Chlebecek, video and audio feeds are now in place in the following areas:
- •Indoor Arena has 9 video feeds and 2 audio feeds.
- Outdoor OVAL has 17 video feeds and 2 audio feeds.
- Banquet Rooms have both video and audio feeds.
- Total of 33 video feeds throughout the facility.
- OVAL Scoreboard (19' W x 10' H) is fully integrated into the overall system
In order to finance projects like those listed above as well as help fund ice time for user groups and events year round the Friends of the OVAL host a major fund raiser every year. This year’s ‘Chill Gala’ was held at the OVAL on Saturday, November 17th, 2012.
The guest speaker was local author Ross Bernstein who has written more than 50 books, among them ‘America’s Coach’ about his late friend and mentor Herb Brooks. His award-winning books have reached No. 1 multiple times in the sports category on Amazon.com, and reached an all-time high world-wide sales ranking of No. 17 overall for his book “The Code.”
In addition he is a motivational speaker and that evening Ross regaled us with the history of winter sports in Minnesota and how he came to be the Golden Gopher Mascot! In an incredible gesture of good will he also donated all the proceeds from his book sales that evening to our foundation.
In addition ,raffle tickets were sold for chances to win a diamond and sapphire pendant by former Minnesota native Mark Silverstein. His ‘circle of life’ style pendant is a reminder that what we engage in as kids is remembered and enjoyed for a lifetime.
According to Mark, “I grew up in Minneapolis and spent most of my winter days skating at the rink across the street from my house. We played hockey or other ice games until our feet were frozen or we had to go to bed. The pendant reminds me of those days, skating in circles for endless hours with friends and family. I started skating at 4 and still remember how, just a little less steady!”
You could also buy raffle tickets and bead necklaces for chances at a Wall of Wine, Wall of Craft Beer, MN Wild items and assorted other gifts!
The evening was a huge success and the funds raised will certainly help ensure the long term success of the facility. The success of that event is because of the board members of the Friends of the OVAL Foundation who volunteer their time and talent year round.
The current Friends of the OVAL Foundation Board of Directors:
Steve Trynoski, Leslie Berry, Louise Bjorkman, Mike O'Neill, Nancy Reimann, Neal
Logan, Paul Stangl, Rich Chlebecek, Jennifer Durand, Amy Englund, Brad
Tullberg, Carl Sannes, Dale Hedstrand, Dean Maschka, Dr. Richard Vehe, Jodie Carlson, Joe Von Drasek, Julie Wearn, Kelley Mickus, Laurie Benson and Win Mitchell.