Thank You for Juneteenth Celebration!
On behalf of Save Berkeley Iceland, I want to thank the organizers and attendees of last week's Juneteenth Celebration. This was possibly the best event we have participated in, made even more special since it is Berkeley Iceland's neighborhood. It was great talking to so many people from the community who shared their memories of their time spent in Berkeley Iceland, ranging from hockey players from the 1950's to moms and dads who took their kids to parties in the time just before the doors closed. With only one or two exceptions, the support for reopening the community center was universal.
It is a fact that Berkeley is under served when it comes to recreation opportunities, especially year round facilities which are safe and fun. This is especially true of the South Berkeley neighborhood where Berkeley Iceland sits. It is no surprise that among some of our strongest supporters are folks from the neighborhood who looked at Iceland as a place they felt good sending their kids. When Berkeley Iceland closed, this neighborhood lost one of the few outlets for healthy fun and a place that brought folks from outside the neighborhood to create a really special community.
With all of the positive focus on the part of the City of Berkeley on childhood obesity, healthy lifestyles, and bringing the community together in support of children, it is surprising that Berkeley Iceland has not gotten stronger support from our community leaders. The support is there in the grass roots, both in the neighborhood and the broader community. Often the first question asked by people who visited us at Juneteenth was about what the City was doing to help reopen the rink. Most would shake their heads in wonder when told that, with some important exceptions, there hasn't been much support coming from the City. We explained that there is hope that this can change with the new plan which addresses a number of City goals. We still believe that the current plans represent a real win for all the community.
Once again, THANK YOU to everyone who made this a special event. We look forward to making this an annual outing, especially when Berkeley Iceland is open again!