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Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider, and other state and city officials cut ribbon to celebrate grand opening of three city-owned public skating rinks that have been completely re-constructed and fully enclosed making them operational year-round. The renovations at each rink include new classrooms, learning labs, and expanded public space.

Snider Hockey, largely through a personal commitment by Ed Snider, contributed $6.5 million to match a grant from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. This unprecedented public/private partnership resulted in a $13 million restoration project to preserve after-school, recreational, and supplemental educational activities for children, youth, and families in the City of Philadelphia.

Snider Hockey first partnered with the City in 2008, when it began operating programs at three City rinks that had been targeted for closure. Recognizing that its after-school skating and supplemental educational programs had an enormous impact on children and families in Philadelphia neighborhoods, Snider Hockey and the City agreed to expand their partnership to include delivery of programs at all five of the City-owned rinks in 2009. Besides the Laura Sims Skate House, the other two rinks being fully enclosed are the Scanlon Ice Rink in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, and the Simons Rink in West Oak Lane-section of Philadelphia. Similar renovations are scheduled to commence in April 2012 as part of this project at the Tarken Ice Rink in Oxford Circle and the Rizzo Rink in South Philadelphia.

Snider Hockey recently reached a 20-year agreement with the City and PIDC to extend its partnership through 2030. This agreement was a key component in the Foundation’s decision to make its multi-million dollar investment that will ensure the long-range sustainability of these vital community resources.

Snider Hockey provides free “learn to skate” programs, public skating opportunities, ice hockey instruction, and league play, including all equipment, as well supplemental academic services at no charge to inner city boys and girls. The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation will continue to maintain the rinks.

The partnership will allow the rinks to operate seven days a week. This will enable Snider Hockey to double its current capacity of 2,500 children that regularly participate in the Foundation’s After School sessions delivered in the out-of-school time hours when inner-city children are most vulnerable to undesirable influences. The After School program provides boys and girls with structured educational programs that complement the daily on-ice activities.

Flyers founder Ed Snider created Snider Hockey in 2005 as a personal commitment to teach children important life lessons. The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite communities. It uses the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the game of life. Snider Hockey services are targeted for inner-city boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate or to play ice hockey.

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