Dominick Wirtanen, left, is shown with some of the skates he has acquired to be used at the Taconite Skating Rink. At right is Paul Clafton.

TACONITE — While other teens are busy with summer jobs or summer vacations, Greenway sophomore Dominick Wirtanen has been busy raising money to outfit the Taconite Skating Rink with hockey skates.

Dominick, known by his friends as Dom, has a passion and love for hockey that was nurtured by his time on this small-town outdoor rink.

“The Taconite Rink is the best. It has great ice and everybody goes there. I have fun on the ice – whether I’m skating with friends or it’s just me and the ice,” said Dom with a smile crossing his face. “But I noted when I was at the rink there were skates for kids to use, but none of them had laces and most of them were pretty worn out.”

This summer he decided to do something abut that and he made a goal to donate two pairs of skates in every size from child to young adult to the Taconite Rink.

“It was kind of hard at first to ask people to help me, but when they thought it was a good idea and wanted to help, it got easier,” reflects Dom.

To get the project going, he priced skates at Clafton’s, who also offered to host a donation jar. To accomplish his goal, Dom calculates he will need $1,000. In addition to the donation jar at Clafton’s, The Locker Room and Hollywood Bait in Coleraine also have donation jars.

“I really want to tank these businesses for supporting hockey and skating for kids,” adds Dom. “I also want to thank the people who contributed money in the donation jars.”

In addition, Dom has set up a Gofundmepage that is linked to his Facebook. He explains, “Look for Dom Wirtanen holding the northern pike profile picture.” Fishing is another interest of Dom’s. To date, he is about halfway toward his goal; and is continuing to work on his project.

“You can have fun no matter when you go to a rink so I want kids who don’t have skates to be able to do that too,” concludes Dom. “Making this possible makes me feel good and happy. I can’t wait to see kids using these skates this winter on the rink.”

Donations are still being accepted at the local businesses listed above and through Gofundme.


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