Busy day for kids at APlex, NLA

ALPENA – The APlex and Northern Lights Arena hosted children of all ages on Friday afternoon. The United Way of Northeast Michigan sponsored a free skate day, with skate rental included, at the arena and was open to all members of the public.

“We just want everybody to have a good time. The free skate is open to anyone,” Germaine Stoppa, United Way executive director, said. “That’s what the United Way is all about, giving back to the community.”

There was no school on Friday for Alpena Public Schools due to records day, so the timing for a free skate went over well. Over 60 people participated in the event, which was supervised by three United Way volunteers and two employees.

“It’s fun to watch the kids having a good time on the ice,” Stoppa said.

While the free skate was going on at NLA, students from Bingham Arts Academy were in the APlex kicking off their health day. There was a range of activities offered including ice skating, karate, gym games, and the annual walk-a-thon.

The PTO-sponsored walk-a-thon is held to raise money for the school. The students walk around the ice rink and collect beads for every lap they make, helping to raise money based on their sponsors.

“We have longer days and a longer school year for our students, so it’s nice for them to have a break and be active outside of school,” Principal Robin Benson said. “It’s a good way for students and teachers to bond and have some fun together.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.