Skating to save history

By Sharon Lee

Executive Features Editor

I am used to going into the Service Club office many times throughout the week to sign up for events.  I found a sign-up sheet for a “Save Central School” roller skating event.  I remembered hearing about it while I was writing a story on Central School for the newspaper.  Interested, I signed up for the event right away.

Kids "skating to save history
The day of the skating event came quickly.

I had no idea what to expect.  I didn’t know who would show up and what it would be like.  All I knew was that the money the event made would go towards “preserving the Central School and other Mount Prospect Historical Society educational programs,” according to a handout I had received.

When I arrived at the Central Community Center, kids were everywhere.  They were running around eating pizza, struggling to put on their skates and zooming around the skating rink.  I decided to be a skating “guard” during my shift.  Basically, my job was to skate around and make sure the kids didn’t fall.

“Just don’t fall forward, especially when you’re helping the kids,” senior Kelly Alswede warned.  I knew to listen to her because she had volunteered during the first shift.

With this warning, I set off into the rink as Eye of the Tiger played on the speakers.  I hadn’t gone skating in a while, so I wobbled a little at first, not remembering the feeling of the blades meeting the ground.  After a while, I got used to it.

The entire shift turned into a game of helping up kids who kept falling.  One boy named George had skates on that were too big, so his feet pointed outward as he tried to skate.  He wobbled around the entire rink as I followed him to make sure he didn’t tumble to the ground again.  Every few minutes, his feet would fly out from under him and he would land on the ground in every way possible.

Whenever he fell, my fellow guards and I would be there to catch him or pick him up.  He grew to dislike us and every time he saw the black and white stripes of our jerseys, he would mumble “I’m OK” and try to pick himself up.

Overall, the event was extremely enjoyable.  According to Greg Peerbolte, executive director of the Mount Prospect Historical Society, the skating party is a good way to fundraise because it’s fun to do and it gets the kids involved.  The event isn’t too expensive – $5 for admission and $5 for renting skates.

I would definitely recommend attending this event next year either as a supporter of the preservation of the Central School, a volunteer who enjoys helping kids escape the possible dangers of rollerskating or a person who wants to find their inner kid.