Keweenaw Health Foundation donates $10,000 to Allouez Township/Ahmeek Ice Rink update

The Keweenaw Health Foundation (KHF) recently contributed $10,000 to Allouez Township in its quest to update the Emil Aho Memorial (Ahmeek) Ice Rink. The donation will be used to offset the costs of updating the rink.

“The Ahmeek Ice Rink has been around for decades,” said Ed Jenich, KHF Executive Director. “In the winter, hockey and ice skating are key activities for our area’s youth and adults; this donation will allow those individuals to continue an active lifestyle.”

The ice rink was started by a few enthusiastic kids in the neighborhood many years ago. They made an impromptu rink using a nearby fire hydrant in the winter months. The rink became more formal and has been maintained by adult volunteers since 1990. The township’s “Build the Boards” campaign was launched to update the current rink boards and provide additional safety elements.

“With this very generous donation from the Keweenaw Health Foundation, we are well on our way to continue promoting physical activity and outdoor recreation,” said Joni Erkkila, co-chair of the rink project. “This donation will also help provide important safety elements to those who use the rink.”

The recreational area provides physical activity year-round. The rink provides more than 90 hours per week during the winter months for public skating and public hockey ice time. In the off months, the area’s youth can use the area for roller blading and street hockey.

“We are so grateful to the Foundation for their donation,” said Ace Laurie, volunteer rink manager. “Many children have learned to skate at this rink. Those children have gone on to play local hockey, high school hockey and even college hockey. With the Foundation’s help, we can maintain this smalltown gem and allow more of the area’s youth to enjoy the rink as much as possible.”

Since fundraising efforts began in the community this summer, the campaign has raised over $30,000.

Anyone interested in donating to the “Build the Boards” campaign can do so by dropping it off at the Allouez Township Office or mailing it to P.O. Box 64, Mohawk, MI 49950. For more information, visit or Ahmeek Ice Rink on Facebook.