The NHL and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation on Monday unveiled extensive renovations and upgrades to Detroit's Clark Park Coalition recreation center as part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Legacy Initiative.
With additional support from DTE Energy, Johnson Controls and York, the donation of resources and materials to Clark Park's outdoor rink was funded and spearheaded by the League and the Red Wings Foundation. The enhancements made to the Clark Park rink, the only regulation-size outdoor rink in the metropolitan Detroit area, included the donation of a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to replace the facility's current 35-year-old machine. Other improvements include lighting upgrades at the rink and parking lot, an upgraded rink refrigeration system, snow removal equipment for its ice hockey and skating programs, a new ice surface and rink boards, new bicycle racks provided by Disenos Ornamental Iron and facelifts to its recycling program provided by CleanRiver and NHL Green.
"These donations build upon a decade of meaningful partnership and investment by the NHL and Detroit Red Wings into the lives of youth in Southwest Detroit," Clark Park Coalition president Steve Tobocman said. "This current investment really paves the way to ensure that hockey can continue to be a critical component of our efforts to reach and develop kids living in poverty in this diverse Detroit community for years to come."
The Clark Park Coalition provides year-round sports programming for more than 1,200 boys and girls. It has been a member of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative for more than 10 years, providing support and programming opportunities for children of diverse backgrounds to play hockey.
"We've seen how successful Hockey is for Everyone has been in this community and how important Clark Park is to this area," NHL Chief Marketing Officer Brian Jennings said. "We are proud to announce the beneficiary of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic legacy initiative is Clark Park Coalition."
The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, which provides funding for community initiatives that promote the growth of hockey.
"The Red Wings Foundation is thrilled to be a part of a meaningful initiative like this that gives youth in our community a great place to play hockey, stay healthy and active, and build values like teamwork, respect and integrity," Ilitch Charities chairman and Ilitch Holdings president and CEO Christopher Ilitch said. "It's particularly special to us because Clark Park is just a couple of miles from the Wings' home ice and our players and coaching staff enjoy visiting and engaging with youth hockey players here."