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Scott Chittle of Manton, Michigan, decided his city needed an ice rink to survive the pandemic. 

Although his own kids didn’t skate, he felt the community had to have a safe outdoor space to gather, whether they realized or not (which, they didn’t). 

The rink has grown considerably since CBS News told Chittle’s story last February

“Last year [it] was 3,000 square feet. This year [it’s] 5,000 square feet,” Chittle said. 

He also has a new skate-sharpening machine, snow grooming equipment and a complete lighting system that were all donated by companies that saw the CBS News story and wanted to help. 

“It’s been unbelievable,” Chittle said. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” 

When folks originally failed to flock to his house, Chittle went door to door to coerce them. 

“I was upset. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?! Tell your kid to come outside and go ice skating!'” he said. 

With a little nudging, Chittle’s side yard became the place to be. The dark winter that was, was suddenly springing with joy. 

“None of these kids have electronics in their hands, it’s amazing!” noted one parent. 

Scott Chittle of Manton, Michigan, built an ice rink in his yard.  CBS News

When Chittle created the rink, he had no idea what he was really creating, but now it’s clear. For those who come, the sounds, smells and smiles will be forever lasting — an iconic memory that children need to cherish their childhoods. 

“We all know that you’ve got to provide for your kids, but somehow you’ve got to give them some magic every now and again,” Chittle said as he wiped a tear. “It doesn’t get any better than that.” 

To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: [email protected].   

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