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Sat, Feb. 22

Couple looks to build ice rink here

KINGMAN - A Kingman couple has big plans for the children and teens of Kingman. Wade Simon and Anna Bufano hope to construct an ice skating rink for of Kingman.

"There is nothing for the kids to do here. All they have is the skate park, which is a haven for drug dealers. People wonder why the kids do drugs. It's because they're bored," Simon said.

Simon and Bufano's dream is to create an ice skating rink called the Kingman Ice Gardens with a birthday party center attached to it. The birthday center will have several themed rooms, such as a "Princess Room" for girls who want to have a princess birthday party.

The couple plans to rent the party center to parents for birthday parties on a sliding scale based on the income of the parents.

Parents who can afford more will pay more. Parents who can't afford a large party will pay less, Simon said.

"I want every child in Kingman who wants to have a birthday party to be able to have one regardless of their income," he said.

He also plans to have low rates for skate rentals to encourage children and teens to return again and again to the center instead of turning to drugs or getting into trouble.

Simons says he already has the funding and a spot picked out for the center near the Kingman Airport. If he has his way, the center will not cost the residents of Kingman anything other than the price to rent a pair of skates.

Simon says he already has an agreement with a Russian ice-skating instructor to teach lessons at the rink.

He wants every child or teen in the area to have the chance to learn how to skate and possibly make it to the national level.

The main motivations behind Simon and Bufano's quest to build the ice arena are the death of Simon's wife and his daughter.

Simon's wife died about a year and a half ago from cancer. One of her last wishes was that Simon do something for the children of Kingman.

Simon moved to Kingman from the Los Vegas area. At the time, one of his daughters was taking ice skating lessons at a local ice arena. When Simon's family moved to Kingman, there was no place for his daughter to continue her lessons. Simon still wonders how far his daughter could have gone if she had a place to continue her lessons.

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