John MacInnes Student Ice Arena dedicates new skate rental center

Copper Country

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – On Saturday, October 16, Michigan Tech’s John MacInnes Student Ice Arena opened its new Skate Rental Center as part of a free skate, open to the community. The rental center is dedicated to Charlotte Jenkins and Cheryl DePuydt, two important pillars of Michigan Tech’s ice skating community through the years.

Charlotte Jenkins

Jenkins, a former undergraduate student at Michigan Tech, passed away unexpectedly in a car accident in January of 2021. During her time on campus, Jenkins was heavily involved at the arena and was known for how she would try to make skating as inclusive to others as she could.

“Charlotte was a passionate skater as a Michigan Tech student,” said Joel Isaacson, Senior Associate Athletic Director at Michigan Tech. “And would make sure individuals had access to equipment right out of her dorm room.”

When Jenkins passed, it became clear how her lending would be missed and prompted those who knew her to work to open the rental center in her honor.

Cheryl DePuydt

For many years Cheryl Depuydt was a cornerstone of athletics at Michigan Tech, serving as the university’s first coach for the womens’ basketball, volleyball, and cheer teams, as well as chair of the physical education department. She was inducted into Michigan Tech’s sports of fame in 1992 and was a proponent of the university’s skating facilities until her passing in 2005.

“I think for us it’s about bringing our community together and sharing the passion that both Charlotte and Cheryl had for skating. This is really a grassroots initiative for our department to be able to provide equipment rentals for the first time in our facility. You know we’re in a very passionate community about ice sports and what better way to be able to let the youth of our community try something barrier-free with a rental cost versus having to invest in a pair of skates.”

To learn more about the Skate Rental Center, check out Michigan Tech’s Recreation site here.

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