|September 26, 2013
Friedlander rolls out plans for roller rink
By Lailani Upham
Poker chips are set up next to the Hawk Sees’ Roller Skating Rink fundraiser charitable gaming permit authorized by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Gaming Commission, while burgers are grilled for the BBQ Poker/Pinochle Fundraiser at the People Center last Friday. (Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — An idea is turning into reality.
Ethan Friedlander says his idea of bringing a roller rink in the heart of Pablo has been in the making for years, but it’s been a year and a half since he began the footwork.
Friedlander says he believes having roller rink will bring quality to relationships and be a great way to be fit.
Growing up, he remembered the connections and fun he had at the local roller rinks where he lived. He said having a roller rink in Pablo is an ideal place where many of the tribal people gather.
“I’d like it to be a place for people to socialize without drugs and alcohol,” Friedlander said.
He said he not only sees it for kids but for college students to gather and have fun.
Friedlander has been making this dream happen with his spouse Rebecca Phillips.
So far the dream has been the footwork of dedication, hard work and faith. The couple has not taken out a loan or received any concrete grants, but has been raising money through fundraisers this year. Friedlander, a Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal member, has found support with the Tribes and will continue to seek funding from sources he can find, he said.
T.J. Hewankorn grills up the burgers and dogs for Ethan Friedlander’s roller rink fundraiser. Hewankorn took first place in the poker division. (Lailani Upham photo)
As of last week he says he has raised $5,000 and his goal is a total of $33,700 to break ground on the building.
The location will be the lot behind Joe’s Jiffy Stop.
Friedlander has a business plan and blue print available for the roller rink and is anxious to see it begin.
He said he is planning on attending the REZ 2013 conference held in Las Vegas in October, in hopes of landing the number spot for his business plan to win the grand prize of $20,000.
REZ is an annual summit conference sponsored by The National Center For American Indian Enterprise Development.
The building capacity will hold 250 - 300 people and will be 55 feet wide and 110 feet in length.
The BBQ Pinochle/Poker tournament this past Friday was the third fundraiser so far, thanks to the People Center, who opened their doors for the opportunity.
Friedlander says the mission for the Hawk Sees’ Roller Skating Rink is to improve the quality of life in the valley by being a supportive and nurturing center for all generations, and for the generations to come.
“This is going to be a community project and a demand from the community to make this happen,” he said. It will take the community to take ownership of the project he added.
Once the goal amount is met for the building to begin construction, Friedlander says he is hoping to see community volunteers assemble the structure.
Hawk Sees’ Roller Rink will have two-by-two feet blocks on the skate rink floor inscribed with the name of donors who contribute $200 - $500.
For more information or donations contact Ethan Friedlander at (406) 207-3146.