SEKY December 2021 - Page 34

Commonwealth Journal
With the weather turning colder and Christmas right around the corner , it ’ s time to bring out the ice skates , or prepare to rent a pair .
For the first time , downtown Somerset will offer what is hoped will become a seasonal tradition . The temporary rink will be open on Pulaski Judicial Center Plaza from December 1 through December 31 . It will be set up between the four lampposts surrounding where the fountain usually flows during the summer , and will be about 50-feet-by-30- feet in size .
The “ Skating on the Square ” project has been spearheaded by members of the 2019 Leadership Lake Cumberland Class . The “ ice ” is actually a synthetic polymer , on which actual metal skates can be used .
“ In part of our research to determine if this was going to be a decent surface , what we learned was that a lot of actual professional ice skaters and hockey players have this surface in their garage or their home-type gym for practice ,” class member Ben Robertson of Forcht Bank said .
Another first for the plaza , according to Robertson , was getting approval from Pulaski County Fiscal Court , which owns the property , and the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts , which leases it , to use the plaza for a whole month .
The team has been working all year long on the project , a large part of which was fundraising . That ’ s gone very well , with the team having easily covered enough the cost of the rink facility , which also includes a large supply of skates that people can rent to get on the ice .
Through the rink itself , the Leadership class will be raising money not only for themselves but also for local charitable and community causes . In fact , Robertson projected that they ’ ll be able to provide about $ 30,000 to local organizations via the project .
“ We have volunteer groups that are actually helping us work the ice rink ,” he said . “ Leadership Lake Cumberland is overseeing it , but for actually working the hut and monitoring skate time , we ’ ve asked community organizations to help us out and in turn they get 50 percent of the proceeds for that night .
“ Like the Morning Rotary Club is going to work it on ( the day of the Christmas Parade ), which could be potentially the biggest day of the year ,” he continued .
34 • SEKY - Life in Southeast Kentucky December 2021