Yankton Area Ice Association Continues to Focus on Hockey Despite Rink being Broken into

YANKTON, S.D.-  “Hockey was everything to me and to bring my experience with hockey to this community has been everything, “says Chad Kapla, Yankton Hockey Coaching Director.

The Yankton Area Ice Association is an organization that is built through the work of countless volunteers and a community that loves hockey. The Alcoa ice rink has become a second home for many in the community and since 2005; it’s been opening doors to families and other hockey teams. However, what happened on Monday is something the organization is trying to overcome.

“All of a sudden, to have a huge loss come like this. You know it’s tough, for an association like that to see this and try to figure out how to move forward,” says Gwen Wenisch, Vice President of Yankton Area Ice Association.

Around 1 a.m. on Monday, two men broke into the rink and damaged the main doors to the rink, concession stand sales door, concession door, and the cash register. They also left with the money as well. Despite the setback, the organization is not letting the thieves steal their joy.

“It’s unfortunate and that kind of thing happens in other places as well, but we are just going to keep moving forward. I think everything will line up just fine,” says Kapla.

When the rest of the community heard what happened. They were eager to help the organization, so Wenisch talked to the rest of the board and they decided to create a GoFundMe page. They say the support they have received in the last week has been touching.

“Knowing that you have family that’s out there that’s willing to support you and what your kids are doing. What this community is doing is awesome,” says Wenisch.

“We are all here for the kids; we are all here for the community and this is what we do,” says Kapla.

The organization says they knew there was a hockey game coming up this weekend and rather than canceling, they choose to continue being open.

“You don’t want to call them up two days before and go, hey sorry.  You know, you figure out your next step and you just keep going, “says Wenisch.

The Yankton police chief says the investigation is ongoing. The suspects were caught on surveillance camera both appeared to be male of unknown ethnicity, wearing hooded sweatshirts with khakis and dark tennis shoes.


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