Throughout the Newport Skating Center’s 2016-2017 season, Bank Rhode Island’s (BankRI) support as its Community Partnership Sponsor has helped nearly 600 people—the majority of who are children—take to the ice through community skating programs. On Friday, February 3, the partnership kicked-off its latest community-focused effort, a February food drive to support the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.

Through February 27, guests of Newport Skating Center presented by ALEX AND ANI will receive $1 off their rink admission for each food item they donate, up to a total of $4 off per person. Some of the MLK Center’s most-needed items include peanut butter (plastic jars only), canned tuna, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans and lentils, and canned ‘meal’ soups.

“The Newport Skating Center is a resource of the community, for the community; and thanks to BankRI’s commitment, we’ve been able to expand our programming to reach more youth while organizing opportunities for our guests to give back locally,” said Michele Maker Palmieri, owner of Waterfront Productions, the parent company of the Newport Skating Center. “The results of our efforts have been very positive and we look forward to helping restock the shelves of the Martin Luther King Community Center during a time of increased need.”

The February collection is the Center’s fifth community give-back initiative in conjunction with BankRI’s season-long sponsorship. Earlier this winter, the Center collected holiday gifts to brighten the season for underprivileged families; held a diaper drive to benefit The Changing Table; organized “Superhero Day,” which offered discounted skating for service members, including police and fire personnel; and provided an in-kind sales booth for local Girl Scout Troops to raise funds through the sale of cookies.
Among the youth-focused groups to benefit from the BankRI-sponsored community skating programs are students from Frank E. Thompson Middle School and its After School Program, Forrest Avenue Elementary School, Lucy’s Hearth, the YMCA Special Needs Program, Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, and Salve Regina University.

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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).