Point of View: Kevin Bell Arena shows generosity breeds generosity

Homer Hockey Association volunteers share stories of helping at the Kevin Bell Arena.

The Kevin Bell Arena would not exist without community support and a culture of volunteerism and philanthropy. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Rasmuson Foundation who was one of the primary funding sources when building our state-of-the-art ice facility and who inspired the “pay it forward” principal in our small community.

To keep the rink well-maintained and offering quality programming, there is an army of volunteers putting their own philanthropic mark on our community. While every person has something different to offer, every single one is essential to keeping the rink a vibrant and welcoming place for people of all ages to enjoy the many recreational options available.

These are our personal stories:

Shelly’s story: I didn’t expect to find my journey in philanthropy at our local ice rink, but I did. I started out looking for something fun to do in the winter and have now been volunteering at the Kevin Bell Arena for more than 15 years. My belief that recreation is essential in creating healthier individuals, stronger families and vibrant communities paired very well with the mission of the Kevin Bell Arena. The more I learned about the dynamics that go into making our community nonprofit rink function, I decided to get involved. Volunteering and recreating alongside people with differing perspectives and diverse backgrounds has been very rewarding. At the Kevin Bell Arena, we are often reminded that through civility, an organized process, compromise and dedication, people not only pay things forward, but move things forward.

Cinda’s story: I had been involved with the Homer Hockey Association for several years when my boys were small, the indoor rink was just a dream and “hot-mopping” was a thing. I was fortunate to serve on the HHA board of directors with some incredible forward-thinking individuals during the time the rink became a reality back in 2005. It was a labor of love and ingenuity, but together with grant makers, our incredible business community and generous donors, we were able to make this dream come true. The thrill of that cooperative success propelled me into a future of giving more, more time, more treasure. What began as something you just do for your kids, culminated into a personal drive to make a difference. My boys are now 25 and 30, but I still volunteer for the rink (I just don’t clean locker rooms anymore). My greatest joy has been watching my boys give back to the community they were raised in, whether coaching hockey or delivering turkeys to the Food Pantry, they got the ‘pay it forward’ message.

While the initial reasons for our involvement with the Kevin Bell Arena and the Association may differ, the common thread is this: generosity breeds generosity. By giving, we are creating a better community with the added benefit of skating, curling and hockey fun along the way.

Cinda Martin and Shelly Laukitis are past presidents of Homer Hockey Association and current HHA Finance Committee members.

October 2021 Nonprofit Needs

Hospice of Homer is in need of the following: Forever stamps, ice cleats/Yaktrax for shoes, tissues, bleach wipes, baby wipes, gloves (all sizes), overnight pad inserts, Ensure or Boost meal supplements, and materials to supplement our Lending Library (current publications related to grief, dying or Alzheimers/dementia for adults or kids). Contact Holly at director@hospiceofhomer.org.