Dwayne Cormier was a man of great energy and positive contributions. Wherever the opportunity existed to better his community, Dwayne was there. When his town started a winter festival in 2007, of course, Dwayne was going to be part of it. He added lighted labyrinths, fireworks, ice rescue demonstrations, lit skating rinks, and created dunk tanks and ice chairs. While browsing the internet one night he found a defunct Zamboni for sale in the deserts of Nevada and just knew he had to have it. With undaunted optimism and mechanical ability to match he had the machine running and grooming ice out on City Bay the following winter.
We lost Dwayne too soon and his absence is deeply felt, but his legacy is still with us. His family has graciously agreed to donate the Zamboni to our organization for continued use in City Bay and at the Great Ice! festival. Zambonis, as it turns out, are somewhat fickle machines and require a warm place to avoid freezing their water lines, a sturdy floor with a drain, and of course, a healthy water supply to fill the large tank. To meet the need we are proposing the conversion of an existing 12x24 structure in North Hero village into a winter recreation center. In addition to a heated and plumbed space for the Zamboni, the center will include a skate library where people can have 24-hour access to donate or borrow skates for use on the ice.
Healthy Islands and Community Support (HICS), the parent organization of the Great Ice! festival has already obtained a grant from the Vermont Building and General Services Department to cover half the costs. We are raising funds to offset or cover the remaining half.