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Blades of glory


Marc Heitz Chevrolet sponsors Norman’s first holiday ice rink to raise money for Regional Food Bank.

Malena Lott November 23rd, 2011

No matter what the weatherman says, Norman is getting ice over the holidays. Thanks to Marc Heitz Chevrolet, the first “holiday rink” benefiting the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program has been established.

Opening Friday, the rink has been built on a field behind the dealership, located at 1221 Ed Noble Parkway off Interstate 35. What better way to spread some holiday cheer and help fight childhood hunger?

The festive atmosphere will include holiday music, sponsor-decorated trees, lights and decorations related to classic Christmas movies, including “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Jingle All the Way” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Food and hot cocoa will be available for purchase by local vendors.

Heitz hopes Santa will make an appearance, maybe even in skates.

“We’re proud to partner with the Food Bank’s Cleveland County Food for Kids program to create a new holiday tradition in Norman. We look forward to seeing families and groups having fun on the ice,” Heitz said.

Karen Cody, events coordinator for Marc Heitz, said the dealership usually holds activities in all seasons except winter. Now that’s changed.

“This year, because it’s totally new, our goal is to attract 15,000 people,” she said.

Several local businesses stepped aboard to bring the project to fruition. The 60-by-80-foot rink was designed and built by Ice Challenge Enterprises, with Silver Star Construction providing the new parking lot for the rink. Bliss Electric outfitted the electric. Area businesses can pitch in by sponsoring the rink, which will result in having banners posted in the rink.

According to the company website, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma began the Food for Kids Backpack Program in 2003 after hearing that an elementary student fainted in the lunch line due to lack of food over the weekend.

Children enrolled in the initiativce receive a backpack on Fridays full of nutritious, kid-friendly food for the weekends and school holidays. The program now serves children in 49 counties, totaling 10,000 children per week.

New elementary schools are added each semester.

“One in four children in Oklahoma may go to bed hungry tonight, but you can help,” said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank. “Children have a lot to think about, and hunger should not be one of them.”

Additional reporting by Carmen Forman

 
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