MV Arena glides into the future with Ice Savours auction

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YMCA board president Mark Baumhofer, left, M.V. Arena board president Geoghan Coogan, M.V. Arena general manager Peter Lambos, and YMCA executive director Jill Robie in front of the Martha's Vineyard Ice Arena. — Sam Moore

The MV Ice Arena has been skating on thin financial ice for much of its 24-year history as an enclosed ice skating facility, but the venue has been supported by a committed local community and an event, Ice Savours, an annual fundraiser held for the past 16 summers.

This year, fans of the Island winter hotspot may exhale a little at the Ice Savours fundraiser on August 18 at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, given its recent affiliation with the highly successful Island YMCA, also its neighbor on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road opposite Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS).

Tickets for Ice Savours are $100 and are available at ticketsmv.com/ice. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, music by the The Dukes of Circuit Avenue, a silent auction, and a brief live auction, according to event coordinator Julie Hatt, whose daughter, Kylie Hatt, is an MVRHS senior and a star ice hockey and field hockey player.

Ms. Hatt credits Island residents Gayle and Bob Mone, longtime nurturers and supporters of the arena, with creating whimsical and attractive auction items. For example, “We’ve got a walk-on part in an upcoming Farrelly Brothers film project. Reliable Market in Oak Bluffs is providing a parking space, complete with wine and cheese, a blanket and chairs for watching the upcoming fireworks in Oak Bluffs,” she said.

“We want the auction to be simple, fast, and a fun way to spend an evening celebrating our partnership with the Y,” she said.

So Ice Savours 2016 will be a public gathering by two of the Island’s most popular sports, fitness, and social venues.

“This will be a fundraiser, but just as much it will also be a celebration of our past, our future, and our new relationship with the Y,” Peter Lambos, incoming MV Ice Arena general manager, said this week.

Mr. Lambos directed the Boys and Girls Club in Edgartown for 16 years and is keeping his eye on transition there. “We’ll announce a new director soon, a qualified person with deep Island roots who understands the community needs,” he said.

Two months ago, the Y and the Ice Arena agreed to an alliance in which resources of the Y, including administrative tasks and personnel, will be available to the arena.

While there is a $3.5 million renovation plan in the works, Mr. Lambos, who began as general manager on July 1, is focusing on first things first.

“Everything is in great repair here. Everything works right now. But a lot of our equipment is pretty old, we have compressors that were 30 years old when we got them. You don’t wait until something fails before taking action,” he said, noting that new dasherboards (the white half-walls circling the rink’s ice surface) and an efficient ice-making system are among priorities.

“Arena staff and the folks at the Y are figuring it all out together,” he said.

Ice Savours Auction: Thursday, August 18, 6 to 10 pm at Farm Neck Golf Club, Oak Bluffs. Tickets are $100 and are available at ticketsmv.com/ice.