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In choosing its business class, this year’s Fayette County CEO students took into consideration the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone anxious for outdoor activities.
The idea of hosting Old Capitol Skate started out “as a joke,” said Josie Strauch, a CEO class member who is a senior at St. Elmo High School.
In addition to Strauch, other students in this year’s class include Strauch’s classmate, Kalea Yagow; Abrielle Bunker of Vandalia Community High School; Makayla Cook, Camille Hunt and Matthew Lay of Ramsey High School; and Cassi Payne of Brownstown High School.
“Old Capitol Skate” will offer skating on synthetic ice in the 100 block of South Fourth Street, in front of Charters Patio, on Friday evening, Feb. 5, and Saturday, Feb. 6.
It includes open skating from 6-9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The cost is $10 per person, with each ticket purchased after two being $5.
The cost includes skate rental as well as five free tickets for raffle baskets the class will be offering. Those buying tickets will also receive 10 percent off (not including alcohol) at Blind Society, Copper Penny, Gallatin Street Grille and Taco Fiesta.
Once you have a ticket, you will receive a sticker that will allow you to come and go for skating as you please that day.
“If you want to leave to get lunch, you can come back after that (for more skating),” said Cassi Payne, a Brownstown High School student.
Charters Patio will be available as a warming station, and the class has arranged to have a former CEO student in Bond County, Wyatt Criner, have his food truck, “Wy’s Place,” on site.
The class will also have a DJ playing music, and requests can be played for $1.
Planned for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, is a hockey game, Guns & Hoses (local police and firefighters) vs. Fayette County Favorites, prominent people in the county.
More open skating will be available after the hockey game.
The class is working to arrange performances by local organizations, and a student in last year’s CEO class, 2020 VCHS graduate Sophie Whitten, will be on hand taking photographs.
The synthetic ice skating rink is being provided by D.I.Y. Rentals of Terra Haute.
In normal conditions, the rink could be used by 200 people. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, with social distancing a factor, up to 75 people can be on the rink at one time.
Payne said the pandemic was a big factor in choosing a class business.
“It did, just because we can’t have an indoor event, and we can’t have as many people at one time as we’d really like,” Payne said.
“It really challenged us to think outside the box,” Payne said.
“We were just talking about what we could do outside in February, because it has kind of needs to be in January, February, so that’s where we started,” said Debbie Hobbie, a retired Vandalia teacher who is the CEO class facilitator.
“We need to be outside and what can we do when it’s cold – ice skating,” she said.
Hobbie said that once the class thought about offering a skating rink, Hunt started doing research “to see if you can rent a skating rink, and we found out that you could.
Hunt went to Springfield to check out a synthetic ice rink in Springfield, and found out that the synthetic surface is very much like the real thong.
“Then, we found D.I.Y. Rentals in Indiana,” Hunt said.
The good thing about having synthetic ice is that it can be used in any temperature.
“It doesn’t matter if it gets too warm,” Hobbie said. “If it would be a 40-degree day, that would be perfect.”