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Pens, Highmark Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Project Power Play Dek Rink

by Joey Sykes / Pittsburgh Penguins

If you build it, they will come.

With the construction of the new dek hockey rink at The Settler’s Cabin Park in Robinson Township completed, members of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield truly believe those words will come true.

The two organizations, alongside Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, gathered in front of the new arena on Wednesday to preside over a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate its construction.

The rink, which was completed in October, is just one of ten that were constructed as part of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation’s Project Power Play initiative. “Project Power Play” is a $2.3 million initiative funded by both the Penguins Foundation and Highmark in order to build 12 dek hockey rinks in Pittsburgh and neighboring areas over a four-year period. So far, 10 of 12 rinks have been built, with the final two scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Each dek hockey rink features state-of-the-art multi-sport courts as well as premier, NHL-quality dasher board systems and scoreboards. They also include player benches with shelter, penalty box and scorer’s table.

Highmark’s Executive Vice President Dan Onorato loves the idea of Project Power Play and how it urges kids to be active, especially during the winter months.

“To be able to put money into a program that will touch different parks and hundreds, if not thousands, of kids to be outside in the winter, that’s healthy living,” Onorato said. “Highmark is trying to promote active living, getting outside, running around. This does that. To team up with the Penguins is an added bonus.”

Fitzgerald, who had the honor of actually cutting the ribbon, was very thankful for the Penguins and Highmark for partnering up and building the dek rinks for the community.

“This is great for our community,” Fitzgerald said. “ The kids will be down here, their parents will be down here walking the trails and it will be really for the whole family to come and enjoy, so this is great for our community.”

Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse and Penguins Foundation president Dave Soltesz were on hand to attend the ceremony. They both stated how thankful they were for the funds provided by Highmark as well as the benefits this rink will provide for the community.

“It never would have happened without Highmark,” Soltesz said. “It’s a tremendous investment.”

“It’s a great place for kids to get out and play hockey,” Morehouse said. “It’s also a great place for kids to get more physical activity, but our partnership with Highmark and the Penguins (Foundation) and the county with this particular dek rink, is tremendous and we look forward to building the next two.”

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