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Waynesboro, Pa., ice rink opens

December 19, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - John K. Bowers was so wobbly at first that two skate guards had to shepherd him around the Doris I. Billow Ice Arena Friday afternoon.

Bowers' balance and his confidence returned by the third lap around the Olympic-sized rink. He only needed one guard and he even managed a lilting high step or two.

It was the first day of business for the new rink on Pa. 16 in Zullinger, Pa.

Bowers, 81, from Greencastle, Pa., said it was the first time he's been on skates in 11 years, more years than many of the kids who were scooting around him and his guards. He said he'll be back.

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"These are rental skates, he said, lifting his leg to show a brand new tan figure skate. I just bought myself some new skates back there," he said, pointing to the new pro shop that also opened with the rink Friday.

It was midafternoon Friday. Schools were still in session, yet there were more than a dozen people on the ice.

"We didn't know what to expect," said Margy Everett, manager of the rink. "We just opened the doors. The turnout for an opening day has been terrific."

Everett said she hired more than a dozen skate guards to help and protect the skaters. They auditioned earlier this week, she said.

"They had to show me that they had certain skills," she said.

The rink's grand opening will be Jan. 28. Dan Jansen, Olympic Gold Medalist speed skater will be the special guest, Everett said.

The official winter-spring schedule begins Jan. 5.

In the meantime, the rink will be open to the public through Jan. 4.

Folks like Joe Sanders, John Sauder, skate guard Larisa Sension and Ken Hauk and his son, Jonathan were enjoying their first day on the ice.

It was Sanders first time on ice skates.

"I grew up on roller skates. If these were roller skates it would be a cinch," he said. "These hockey skates pinch my feet."

He had his two boys with him. He said his youngest was a natural on the ice.

"He really gets around. This will be a good thing for the family," he said.

Hauk, 46, of Chambersburg, Pa., and Jonathan, 11, said they plan to use the rink a lot.

"It's a lot closer than the one in Frederick, " he said. "We're thinking about a membership."

Thelma Sauder of Waynesboro stood behind the Plexiglas as her husband, John, made his way around the rink. She doesn't skate. He said he was breaking in some new skates.

"I skated all the time when I was a kid at Red Run and at Old Forge," said John Sauder, 77. "There was always a lot of ice around then. I'm a little out of practice and I have to get used to these new skates. Maybe I'm getting a little too old for this."

Ground for the $3 million rink was broken in June. Planning for it began in 1992 when Doris I. Billow, a retired Waynesboro area school teacher, left $500,000 in her will to be used to build a rink.

The state put up a $250,000 grant and the rest is being raised from donations, loans and user fees.

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