Cabot rink inaugurated for a 10th year | Local news


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CABOT – A woman took her passion for skating and channeled it into a public rink in Cabot which is slated to open for its 10th season later this week.

Susan Socks grew up skating in the Midwest. Socks then coached figure skating and motorized hockey for several years, before retiring from training to start a family and move to Cabot.

Socks said once her first child was old enough to use an ice rink, she found there were no options available nearby. While there are indoor rinks in Barre and Montpellier, Socks said rental time there can get expensive, and it’s not the same as having an outdoor rink in your own. city.

She says that around 2009, a group of volunteers got together and set up an ice rink in the town of Cabot. But she said the effort started a bit late, so the rink could only be used for a few weeks before it melted. Socks said there was no rink set up the following year, so she decided to lead the effort and has been the main volunteer every winter since.

She said that the water for the rink for this season was just poured last weekend and that she hopes, weather permitting, the rink will be open to the public later this week.

There are just over 20 residents who volunteered their time to build the rink and signed up for slots to keep it snow free. As the rink is located right next to Cabot School, the list of volunteers includes middle school and high school students.

Resident Netdahe Stoddard has volunteered at the rink for approximately five years. Stoddard said he got involved because his son loves using the ice rink.

“It’s just a fabulous little town centerpiece,” he said.

Stoddard said the rink helps connect people with their neighbors and allows children, like his son, to exercise.

Resident Lynn Rockwell has been volunteering for approximately 10 years. Rockwell said the rink is wonderful for the kids and a lot of fun.

The ice rink is not just for Cabot residents, anyone can use it.

It now has a few hangars on site that house skates donated over the years. These skates, around 40 pairs in almost every size verified by Socks for quality, can be used by anyone who can fit in so they don’t have to buy their own skates to use the rink.

“It’s very accessible to everyone,” said Rockwell.

Rockwell grew up in southern Vermont and skated indoors a few times a year. But with the system the volunteers devised to keep the rink snow-free, she said, people can now skate most of the winter.

Due to concerns about people gathering during the coronavirus pandemic with no vaccines available, there was no skating rink in Cabot last year.

Resident Christy Aucoin said she was grateful to see him again this year. Aucoin has been volunteering since the rink started because she has young children and is always looking for something to do outside.

“It feels like it’s needed (now) because a lot of us try not to congregate inside, but we’re also desperate for social interaction, so this is the place. great downtown to meet people, ”she said. noted.

Lori Augustyniak, director of the Cabot Community Association, said the one thing in town that brings people together during the winter is usually a school basketball game. Augustyniak said that now the city has this ice rink.

“And any weekend or night it gets crowded all the time,” she said. “The kids go out there and skate during recess. … It’s just a great way to have a group activity in the winter, and I think it exposed a lot of people to skating who otherwise wouldn’t have participated.

Everyone the Times Argus spoke to about the rink thanked Socks for their work in bringing together volunteers and keeping the rink running.

“Without his leadership, guidance and care, this wouldn’t happen,” Augustyniak said.

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