Honorary groomer

Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2006

When Treadwell Arena opened in February 2003, it was with the watery machinations of an ice resurfacer that Alice Poor bought from a rink in Calgary, Alberta.

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Poor, 88 and a 67-year Juneau resident, will be honored in a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. today for her contributions to Juneau's lone ice arena.

The red Olympia, 12 feet long and 9 feet wide, will be named "Alice."

Two 14-inch, gold-script "Alice" decals were affixed Wednesday morning to the left and right front panels of the machine. Danna Siverts, Poor's daughter, arranged for the decals to be made in Seattle.

People generally call it the Zamboni, a competing brand to Olympia.

"My hope is that people won't call it the Zamboni anymore," Siverts said. "They'll call it, 'The Alice.'"

"It doesn't have a name now," said Greg Smith, manager at the arena. "It will be 'Alice' from here on out."

What: Renaming ceremony.

in honor of Alice Poor.

When: 1:30 p.m. today.

Where: Treadwell Arena.

More: Free, light refreshments served

Rich Poor, Alice's son and past president of the Douglas Fourth of July Committee, spearheaded the movement to build an ice arena in the late 1990s. It was partially to honor his father, Val, who died in 1999.

"It seemed like the right thing to do," Siverts said. "My folks were always really involved in the community, and they recognized there's not a lot of things for young people to do. Now the kids have a pool and a skate park and a few things."

Val Poor worked at the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine. His wife, Alice, moved here as a new bride in 1939. They ran a general store in Douglas for years.

"They're pioneer Alaskans who get it done, and they never complained, except about politics," Siverts said.

The Poor family donated a lot of money for the rink project. Alice Poor bought the arena's scoreboard and some of the facility's equipment. The machine was bought from the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

"She's been very generous with the ice rink," Siverts said. "She doesn't like a lot of attention drawn to her, but we think she deserves it. We're overriding her on this one."

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