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Officials 'break ice' for new skating rink

June 06, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Two sisters of Doris I. Billow, who left $500,000 to build a public ice skating rink in Waynesboro, stood on a makeshift platform in a vacant field Thursday afternoon holding sledgehammers.

Their targets were four large chunks of ice spelling out the letters CVOI. The women were joined on the platform by a group of hammer-wielding local officials.

They smashed the sculptures into bits.

The event, staged before 30 people in a field off Pa. 16 west of Waynesboro, marked the official ground breaking for the area's newest professional ice skating rink, Cumberland Valley On Ice, an Olympic-size facility its promoters say will open in December.

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Carol L. Henicle, executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce and president of CVOI's board of directors, said the rink will cover 36,000 square feet.

The idea for the rink was born in 1992 with the death of Billow, a retired Waynesboro area school teacher who left $500,000 in her will to build it. The rink will carry her name.

It will cost $2.7 million to build and equip, Henicle said. The CVOI board launched a campaign to raise $500,000, of which $460,000 has already been raised, she said. Some of the money came from large corporate donations and some from small citizen pledges.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development has given the CVOI board a $250,000 grant toward the rink. The grant was obtained with the help of state Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin.

Punt said at the time the grant was approved that he will "go after any program that's out there to benefit my district in Franklin County."

Loans will cover the rest of the money to build the rink. It will be repaid from user fees, Henicle said.

The Frick Co., a local firm, has donated the compressor and other equipment to freeze the water in the rink along with free lifetime maintenance, Henicle said.

Henicle said the rink will be used for figure skating and training, hockey and family recreation. She said the new rink and rinks in Hagerstown and in Frederick, Md., can complement each other by sponsoring hockey leagues and skating competitions.

Jane Monn of Waynesboro and LaRue Morrison of Camp Hill, two of Billow's three surviving sisters, helped with Thursday's ceremonies. Both plan to return for the official opening of the rink in December, along with their sister Freida Dansberger of Tucson, Monn said.

Monn said she didn't know about Billow's intention to leave the money for the rink until after she died. She said she wasn't surprised, because all five of the children in her family were fond of ice skating.

She said they skated on Red Run, Lilly Pond on South Mountain and at the Fort Ritchie lake.

"We were pretty good, too. We jumped barrels, did figure eights and played crack-the-whip," she said. "It's all we had to do in the winter."

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