MTU skate rental holds its dedication on Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

Garrett Neese / Daily Mining Gazette Isabella Pladars, a sophomore exercise science student at Michigan Technological University, greets friends while getting skates after the unveiling of a new skate rental at the MacInnes Ice Arena on Saturday . The store was dedicated to Charlotte Jenkins, an electrical engineering student who died in January, and longtime skate instructor Cheryl DePuydt.

HOUGHTON – Charlotte Jenkins and Cheryl DePuydt have never known each other. But they would probably have bonded around a core belief: everyone should have the chance to skate.

Friends and family from the two were on hand to dedicate the new MacInnes Arena rental in their honor on Saturday.

The project was started by friends of Jenkins, an undergraduate student and resident assistant at East McNair, who died in January.

Kendra Lachcik, an undergraduate student at Tech and a skate guardian and figure skating coach at the Student Development Complex, first met Jenkins during a public skating after a friend sprained his wrist during a fall.

Jenkins would always listen to a friend, Lachcik said. She also loaned skates, keeping extra pairs of several sizes in her room and car.

“You could say that Charlotte had her own skate loan program” Lachcik said. “So this skate rental program is probably one of the best things we can do to honor it. The whole idea was conceived on a Discord server nine months ago, and the fact that it has morphed into this one is just amazing to me.

Anna Brown, a friend of Jenkins who graduated from Tech in May, recalled her smile and passion for sharing her interests, from picking locks to broomballing.

The 300 skates and helmets for rent open the ice for everyone, said Brown – from a freshman who grows up too fast for his old skates to fit into a freshman in tech who hasn’t. never skated.

Despite being an avid skier, Brown had never liked the idea of ​​skiing. Jenkins had tried to put her on the ice, but between Brown’s fear of skating and her busy schedule, it never happened.

“Although it breaks my heart that I have never been able to skate directly with her, I feel that with the launch of this program, I am skating with her again. “ she said.

DePuydt is a member of the Tech’s Athletics Hall of Fame, having been the first female basketball coach. She founded the Michigan Tech Figure Skating School in 1973 and then helped establish the Copper Country Figure Skating Academy, among other programs.

Joel Isaacson, senior associate athletic director at Tech, recalled DePuydt’s smile and his passion for skating. She and her husband, John, had set up a skate loan program in their home, even going so far as to sharpen skates.

Not having a rental at the TCS created a barrier for people to develop a passion for hockey or skating, Isaacson said.

“It’s for the community” he said. “And he couldn’t be represented by two more beautiful people than Charlotte and Cheryl. Their passion is to unite our community through this rental center.

Two of the first to rent skates were Lily Baker and Isabella Pladars, sophomore exercise science students.

“I was never able to rent here, so I really appreciate that they established it, because I grew up here and never had the chance to skate” said Boulanger.

Like Baker, Pladars had not known Jenkins personally. But as a fellow resident assistant, she had heard how amazing Jenkins was from others in the residential housing community.

“I just really wanted to pay homage to him going through this”, she said. “Plus my friends and I really love going out and trying new things, and a lot of us haven’t skated before. So we really appreciate this opportunity to try something new.

The completion of the skate center required many groups: the Department of Athletics and Physical Education, the Department of Education and Residential Housing Services, the Charlotte S. Jenkins Memorial Fund and all who have Donates, Cheryl DePuydt Memorial Fund, Michigan Tech Parents Fund, Undergraduate Student Government, Inter-Residence Housing Council, Wadsworth Hall Student Association, McNair Hall Association, Douglas Houghton Hall Council , Hillside Place Association, Student Initiatives Support Program, Graduate Student Government, Interfraternity Council, and Pan-Hellenic Council.

Donors were able to cover much of the cost of $ 63,000, which included renovating the old concession and purchasing equipment.

Skate rental will be $ 5 for students and community members for a free skating or student skating session. Helmets will be offered free of charge to anyone using the rink. Skate sharpening will also be offered for $ 5 the first year.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Tech at, where donors can specify the Charlotte Jenkins Fund.

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