Recognizing the need for more safe permanent youth activities locally, Santa Barbara attorney Christina Djernaes became a member of the board of the Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association (GSBISA) in January 2011. Ms. Djernaes made a significant donation right away and encouraged others to join her generosity. Then she stepped into the planning of the ice skating rink, which will be located at Goleta’s Girsh Park.
Recently, Ms. Djernaes and the Kind World Foundation have made a combined second gift to the Ice in Paradise campaign, this time in the amount of $350,000. This contribution moved the needle over the $4 million mark - just $1 million away from groundbreaking. The gift also provides an After School Homework Center that was conceived by Ms. Djernaes as a supportive environment where ice skaters will have resources and quiet space to help concentrate on school work when they are not skating.
“Christina suggested including an After School Homework Center based on her own experience as a parent of two school-age children and her work with at-risk youth. She carefully considered how the ice rink could have the most positive impact on the education experience for student athletes and after school programs,” said Kathy Mintzer, President of the GSBISA board. “The concept Christina offered is very well thought out. As a mother, one of the things I worry about most is how today’s schedule of activities will impact preparation for school tomorrow. Having a place to study with a desk, computer and internet connection at the ice rink means that kids utilizing the facility will be able to work productively and get their homework done earlier while participating fully in skating.”
“We are very lucky to have Christina and Kind World Foundation involved in our effort to build an ice rink for the entire community. Their gifts, which now total $600,000, have been a key in helping to move the campaign forward,” continued Ms. Mintzer. GSBISA’s leader also stressed that now is a critical time to become involved since major gifts are still needed to complete the campaign, “we are $1 million away from groundbreaking and donations are needed now.”
Raising children locally, Ms. Djernaes knows first-hand the need foraccessible recreational outlets in the Santa Barbara region, and has been involved with the ice skating project since 2010. Ms. Djernaes is a Santa Barbara native who skated at The Ice Patch as a teen. Her legal practice concentrates on employment law. She worked with at-risk youth as a Deputy District Attorney in San Luis Obispo County’s child protective services division early in her career.
The Kind World Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports performing arts, the environment, health and human services and education and scholarship programs in the Midwest, Southwest and southern California. Kind World also funds international programs that seek innovative solutions to solving global health challenges with a particular focus on providing clean drinking water to communities in the developing world and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed by a group of volunteers with the mission of developing a permanent public ice skating arena at Girsh Regional Park in Goleta, California. Land has been donated, preliminary plans prepared, and a design-build team selected. The “Ice in Paradise” Capital Campaign is continuing and has raised over $4 million in donations to date. With continued support the project is on schedule to break ground later in 2012.
Ice skating offers a recreational resource for the entire community. People of all ability levels will be able to learn new skills and participate in artistic and athletic endeavors that are currently unavailable locally. Special design features allow for adaptive ice sports, including sled hockey for Wounded Warriors and others with disabilities. The ice skating rink will be a venue for quality time with family and friends, and clean, supervised fun.
Local agencies serving at-risk youth are anxiously awaiting the chance to get their kids on the ice!
Anyone interested in helping make ice skating a reality at Girsh Regional Park in Goleta can make a contribution to GSBISA by contacting Ada Conner, Capital Campaign Director, by telephone at 805-879-1552 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the project, please visit www.iceinparadise.com.