Newport Waterfront Events, a division of Waterfront Productions LLC, has told What’sUpNewp that although the Newport Skating Center fundraising campaign has yet to completely meet its goal there is enough confidence that additional funds will be received over the next few weeks to move forward with the return of the rink to its former downtown location at the Newport Yachting Center this upcoming winter season.

Michele Maker Palmieri, President and CEO of Waterfront Productions, the parent company of Newport Waterfront Events, reports that the generous response over the last month by the corporate community and individuals is truly inspiring, led by new presenting sponsor ALEX AND ANI.

Historically, Newport Waterfront Events has needed to sell a minimum of $150,000 in sponsorships to finance the rink’s operation and maintenance over a full winter season.

The Annual Tree Lighting and Grand Opening Celebration is scheduled for Friday, December 11th.

Fundraising Campaign Not Over

The Save the Newport Skating Center fundraising campaign is 93% to their goal thanks to generous corporate partnerships and community contributions, led by their new presenting sponsor ALEX AND ANI.

They have made the commitment to move forward with opening the skating rink this winter but they still need some help!  The fundraising website located at Indiegogo.com/Save the Newport Skating Center has had very active visits and while the $60,000 goal they set there may appear lofty keep in mind that they are garnering funding outside of this fundraising website and now we have about $14,000 left to go!

How can you help?

  • To contribute online, visit: Save the Newport Skating Center at Indiegogo.com
  • Local Businesses: Participate in a DasherBoard Share!  DasherBoard sponsorships start at $2000 for individual boards but consider sharing board with your fellow businesses as part of our Shop Local/Support Small Business program. For example:  If eight businesses pitch in $250 each, they will feature all eight business logos on a premium dasher board with a Shop Local message.  If 4 businesses pitch in $500 each larger logos will be featured and there is room for additional information.
  • Donate a raffle item or Save the Skating Center Perk for our fundraising efforts- gift certificates, a product or service!

Those That Made The Return Possible

“ALEX AND ANI, all our other corporate sponsors, local organizations and individuals really came through to save the Skating Center and they are looking forward to celebrating with the entire community at the rink’s grand opening and tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 11th,” said Palmieri.

“In the meantime, there is still more work to be done as we are at 93% of our fundraising goal with more sponsorship and partnership opportunities available, including dasher board signage.”  Palmieri added that a crowd sourcing campaign set up so the community can pledge funds via a link to Indiegogo.com on the skatenewport.com website is scheduled to end this Thursday, November 19th but will stay up and keep accepting donations.
“ALEX AND ANI is a company dedicated to its customers, its employees and its communities,” said Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director & CEO of ALEX AND ANI.  “When there is an opportunity that creates a central place for people to enjoy our beautiful state, we are excited to commit our time and resources to the community to create unity for all to enjoy.”

Additional corporate sponsorships that have been secured to date for the Newport Skating Center presented by ALEX AND ANI include: Stop & Shop, Cox, People’s Credit Union, Viti Auto Group, Amica Insurance, Haven Brothers Concessions Food Truck, Discover Newport, Rob Levine & Associates, KVH, Think Thin, NAVSTA Newport Homes, BankNewport, Hyatt Regency Newport, AquaBall, Cumulus Media, William “Mr. Bill” Medeiros, Cappys Hillside Café, What’s Up Newp, Island Skating Academy, Peregrine Group/Scott’s Wharf, LLC, and Newport Harbor Corporation/Newport Restaurant Group.

2015/2016 Skating Season
Plans are to have a full schedule of activities this winter at the rink, including Family Fun Nights, Skates with Santa, Learn to Skate camp, community partnerships with non-profit groups including the Boys & Girls Club and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and, of course, the grand opening and traditional tree lighting ceremony in early December.

In another exciting development, Haven Brothers Concessions Food Truck will handle the on-site concessions at the rink this season.  The Rhode Island icon has been serving Rhode Islanders from it downtown Providence location since 1893, making it the oldest diner on wheels.

Haven Brothers, ‘The Oldest Diner On Wheels’, is Coming to Newport

Newport Skating Center History

The rink failed to open last winter due to the sale of the Newport Yachting Center by Newport Harbor Corporation to Scott’s Wharf.  In the spirit of cooperation, the Newport Harbor Corporation has agreed to donate the skating rink equipment and assets to Newport Waterfront Events while Scott’s Wharf is providing the Newport Skating Center’s former space at the Newport Yachting Center for the coming skating season.  Palmieri said she can not guarantee that the Newport Yachting Center location will be a long-term solution for the rink but said it is a first step towards the goal of realizing a permanent home for the Newport Skating Center.
The Newport Skating Center, which first opened in 2000, features a 9,000 square foot skating surface large enough to accommodate up to 100 skaters at a time.  Skate rentals, hot beverages, comfort foods, lighting for night skating, regular admission discounts, FREE parking and viewing spaces for the public are also featured at the rink.

For more information on the Newport Skating Center, visit skatenewport.com.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).

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