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Earlier this week, while watching my favourite television morning news show, Hamilton’s CHCH Morning Live, I saw a segment featuring a local charitable foundation: SKATE TO GREAT who are collecting used ice skates for children. This organization is also putting out a call to the public for used hockey equipment.

These donated items will be going to families who might not otherwise be able to afford skates and hockey equipment for their children.

What a great idea!

Just the thought of children not having any access to skates so that they can take to the ice for some wintertime fun with their friends is unacceptable.

As I continued to watch, the discussion brought back childhood memories of my Father taking me to what he referred to as ‘The Skate Exchange’ where for a few dollars we could trade in my last year’s skates for better fitting ones. This was ideal because with each new skating season, I seemed to always outgrow my skates from the year before.

This ritual would be repeated once a year. Father and I would make an entire day out of it. At the time, there seemed to be only one of these outfits in Toronto, and of course it was right downtown.

It only makes sense when each year as your child outgrows their skates, to trade them in for another pair. If I remember correctly, I believe that a brand new pair of skates in the mid 1960’s were from fifteen to twenty dollars depending on the size. Of course the obligatory skate protectors were needed as well.

The best part of the day was when immediately after getting my new pair, Father would spare no expense at getting my new skates sharpened, which usually came to about two dollars.

Throughout my life, my Father gave me many lessons in the art of living frugally.

This particular lesson was the very first.

As for skating itself, he would take me to public outdoor and indoor rinks. After getting me laced up, he’d accompany me on a few laps around the rink. Then, he’d skate off on his own.

These were my first lessons on independence.

From time to time I would fall, but there were days when I was able to stay on my feet without toppling once.

I enjoyed skating up until my mid-teens. That was when I started roller skating every Saturday night with my friends. It was at the roller rink where I met the love of my life who is now my husband of almost 38 years.

After I started rollerskating, I found that I had a harder time balancing on the skinny blades. Eventually, I gave skating up altogether, that it at least until I had children of my own to take skating.

Thanks to Hamilton’s CHCH Morning News for bringing these pleasant memories out of their forgotten state, and for helping promote this worthy cause.

Please remember that if you have any unused skates, please consider donating them.

To donate, or for more information on SKATE TO GREAT visit their website at:

SkateToGreat.org

You can also find them on Twitter: @SkateToGreat

Here’s the link to the CHCH Morning Live segment:

http://www.chch.com/skate-to-great/

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for today’s morning news….

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