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Handout, Grand Junction ice rink sliding toward realityG rand Junction ice rink ~~ sliding toward reality By Nancy Lofiolm ~ 2~~ Denver Pos~ Westem S~ope Bureau GRAND JUNC'fIO1V - The tce rink comelh It's taken nearly seven years, but backers oI a proposed mdoor, protes- smna4hockey-s~zed ice-skatmg nnk m Grand JuncGon are tmally ghdmg to- ward succesc The nonprotd Ice Skalmg Ine grovp has rece~ved a donation of land for the nnk and now has a total of SI mdhon m community donations Wdh a sde and that much money, lhe group nexl week will submit granl proposals thal are ex- pected to quickly bnng m the remam- der o[ the S2 1 mdlwn cost o[ lhe rmk - a long-awaded dream tor youlh hockey clubs and t~gure skalers Il wdl be lhe Llnrd mdoor nnk o[ lh~s si~e on lhe Weslern Slope The others are at Va~l and Sleamboat Spnngs "We are over our b~ggest hurdles We feel d ~s gomg to snowball now;' said Ice Skalmg Inc member Robb~e Koos The rmk group found ~tself on sol~d ice recently when Grand Juncdon pho- lanlhrop~sl and busmessman Gene Tay- lor o[tered a p~ece ot 5'h aeres he owns nexl to h~s Gene Taylor's Sporhng Goods Slore m lhr m~ddle of town Began with bake sales Taylor said d's a donaGon that will bene[d h~s slore and his 17 grandch~l- dren as well as fhe ent~re commundy Taylor's donahon ~s Lhe latest m large gdts thal have come to a group thal be- gan by hokhng bake sales, hostmg bmgo games and velhng "Thmk Rmk" T- shirls, yards of ~ce and commemorative tdes The group ra~sed 5220,000 Ay sell- mg chances on an "~ce palace" home ~ a new home donated by a bwlder In 1998, the ettorl got s large boost when Charlene Giebler, an elderly woman who had never been on ice skates, gave the group a 5300,000 en- dowment The ~ce nnk will be named tor her Thal donal~on opened fhe flooJgales The Ivcal L~ons Club pdched in =100,000 Alpine Hank gave 525,000 for a swreboard Elam Constnicdon danab ed E60,000 tor a Zambom ice resurfac- ing machme Rink scaled back LaSI vear, an anonymous Jonor gave lhe rink group anolher EI00,000 endow- menl The group was ~mGally plamm~g for a S2 6 mdlwn nnk thal would mclude 1,500 scals and a[ancy cxlenor Tbal has been scaled back lo ~00 seats m a metal buddmg wdh an atlractroe Fa- cade and room to expand later That is enough [or Kevm Kuu~, who just moved h~s tam~ly to the Weslern Slope trom Boise, ldaho "The ~ce rmk was a b~g [aclor m us makmg Lhe move," ga~d Kunz, whose 11-year-old daughler is serwus aboul figure skadng and had lhe use o[ an m- door rink m Bo~se Koos sa~d she has had many calis from people I~ke Kunz who are consiJ- ermg relocatmg to the Grand JuncGon area bul are holding ot[ because o[ lhe lack of an tce tmk "It's amazing how much people real- ly want lh~s;' Koos said Ice Skatmg Inc plans to break ground next year and have the nnk compleled before lhe 2002 Olymp~cs in Salt Lake Cdy Koos said the group hopes to attract Olymp~c hockey teams [or praclire Special lo The Dvnver Post / Grelel DaugM1erry Robbie Koos and her husband Alan, both officers of Ice Skating Inc., stand on the parcel ot land alor~g Wesl Gunmson Avenue m Grand Junc4on that was donated for a pro-hobkey-sized Ice-skatmg rink.