New Canaan Ice Rink Prepares To Open This Winter

data blogDecember 16, 2021

Ice Rink to be named in Honor of Generous New Benefactor

The New Canaan Ice Rink (NC Rink, Inc.) is $100,000 closer to making the rink a reality this winter. 

The non-profit rink is excited to announce that prominent local community leader and New Canaan supporter Toni Boucher has bestowed a major gift of $100,000 in support of the rink’s opening this winter season. The New Canaan Ice Rink’s board unanimously agreed to name the rink in honor of Mrs. Boucher and her late husband, Bud Boucher. It will be called the Boucher Community Ice Rink.

Toni Boucher is a long-time Wilton resident and has an extensive history of serving alongside NC Rink board member Tom O’Dea in the CT state legislature. She has worked with numerous First Selectmans in New Canaan, from Judy Neville to Kevin Moynihan.

Toni is in good company among the many women leaders in New Canaan and surrounding communities, having served as both a state representative and state senator at different times over her 22 years in public office.

Early in her tenure, she recalls working collaboratively across political party lines to help secure special funding (~$300,000) for the New Canaan Nature Center’s new Visitors’ Center. “I worked the channels for New Canaan to help the Nature Center…I will never forget serving lunch over my homemade Italian sauce to help the funding efforts!” recalls Toni, of her service and support for our town.

The Boucher gift to the New Canaan Ice Rink is, according to Toni, “a small way to show my appreciation and gratitude for the many years of support and lifelong friendships” made in New Canaan. She sees the rink as the missing gem for the New Canaan community and its surrounding towns – “the Next Station to Heaven could not be complete without an ice rink” and “I look forward to skating with my grandkids in New Canaan this winter.”

The New Canaan Ice Rink has been a long time in the making and a labor of love for Board members Gene Goodman and Tom O’Dea, backed with the vision of landscape engineer Keith Simpson.

After a few paused attempts to build an ice rink in years past, Gene was able to build momentum with a core group of interested community members in order to get this project where it is today.

Members of the Ice Rink Committee and Board have been hard at work raising money and generating community support for the rink since 2020. Members Gene Goodman, Jake Granito and Scott Roe are working closely with Town Directors Tiger Mann and Steve Benko and their teams to bring Keith Simpson’s plans to life in an expedited time frame.

The rink will be placed inside Waveny Park at the Orchard Field Parking Lot for its inaugural season this Winter.  It is a “pop-up rink, meaning that it is a temporary and seasonal structure,” says Goodman, “but it is actually a lot of work to install and execute and involves coordination by many parties before we can officially open.”  

The New Canaan Ice Rink Board wishes to thank Toni and the Boucher family for their most generous support to accelerate its opening.  Tom O’Dea added, “Toni is a dear friend and mentor who is the reason I am in public service. Bud was an amazing man who quietly did so much for so many and I think this is a wonderful way to honor his generosity and love of life. ”  

Photo of Toni Boucher Signing the Check toward New Canaan Ice Rink
The New Canaan Ice Rink (NC Rink, Inc.) is $100,000 closer to making the rink a reality this winter.
Toni giving Tom the check for the New Canaan Ice Rink
Toni Boucher presenting the check for the New Canaan Ice Rink to Tom O'Dea.
Group Photo Fundraising for New Canaan Ice Rink
Group Photo with Kerra Smith, Gene Goodman, Tom O'Dea, Lauren Patterson and Toni Boucher.

Community leaders across our town have expressed their enthusiasm for the project and for Toni’s philanthropic support of our town:   “I am most grateful to former State Senator Toni Boucher for providing a remarkable gift for the recreational health and well-being for all who will enjoy the New Canaan Ice Rink now and into our future,” notes Kathleen Corbet, one of New Canaan’s current Selectmen. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan added, “New Canaan is once again the beneficiary of Toni’s generosity and I can’t thank her enough for improving our quality of life by providing community ice skating in a Norman Rockwell like atmosphere at Waveny for all to enjoy.”

For more information, please visit ncrink.com to stay up to date on the latest news and opening day announcements.