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David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena

Younger hockey players get their own tournament for a change with inaugural Merry Mitemas event

By Howard B. Owens
Merry Mitemas Tournament 2023

The Merry Mitemas Tournament is underway at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

The inaugural tournament features 18 teams.  Four are from Batavia, with teams from as far away as Webster and Geneva, said Sharon Valyear-Gray, one of the tournament's organizers, along with her husband, Bob Gray, their daughter, Allyson Valyear, who is chair, and  Tim Sprague, Mite program team coordinator. 

"We wanted to give the little guys an experience that our older ones always get when they go to tournaments," Valyear-Gray said. "Several of the teams went to the Pittsburgh tournament on Veterans weekend. Most of them go to one or two (tournaments) in Rochester. We have three teams that are going to Lake Placid in March, which is really a neat experience for the kids. But the little ones just kind of get left behind."

Each team is guaranteed at least three games over the weekend.

The weekend will include a skate with Santa at noon on Sunday, followed by the championship game.

Photos by Howard Owens

Merry Mitemas Tournament 2023
Merry Mitemas Tournament 2023
Merry Mitemas Tournament 2023
Merry Mitemas Tournament 2023

Merry Mitemas tournament this weekend in Batavia

By Press Release

Press Release:

On Friday, Dec. 1  the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association Ramparts Mite Division (8U) will host their first annual “Merry Mitemas Tournament at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street, Batavia. The Opening game will  begin Friday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

Eighteen teams from the Rochester and Buffalo area are participating.  Also featured during the Tournament will be a Basket Raffle and 50/50 Drawing on Saturday along with donut sales, and T-shirt sales on Saturday and Sunday (until sold out).  The teams participating in this Mite Tournament will be playing half-ice; there will be two games played at the same time. This will be a fun event featuring the youngest players within the Association.  Many of these young skaters move up throughout the Association to play on the local high school team.

Volunteers are still needed to run the time clock, keep score and all the other chores that pop up here and there.  If you’d like to volunteer please contact  Allyson Valyear at [email protected].

Muckdogs and CAN-USA sports hosting two charity events at David McCarthy Memorial Arena

By Press Release

Press Release:

CAN-USA Sports is excited to announce the return of the Battle of the Badges, City of Batavia Police vs City of Batavia Fire, charity hockey game & the Inaugural Batavia City Schools Foundation Faculty charity hockey game at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in 2024.

The Batavia City Schools Foundation Faculty game will be on Sunday Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. with doors opening at 4 p.m. The event will feature current and former faculty members battling on the ice to benefit the Batavia City Schools Foundation. 

Kids 12 & under are free to enter and tickets are just $10 with proceeds benefiting the foundation. Foundation President Zack Korzelius “We want to bring more awareness to the foundation and there is such a rich tradition of hockey at our district we thought this would be a perfect fit”.

The event is open to the public and rosters will be release shortly. Tickets can be purchased online through this link-HERE or in person at the Ice Arena.

The 2nd annual Battle of the Badges will be played on Sunday Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The City of Batavia Police Department took the inaugural battle of the badges cup last year with the event raising over $3,000 for the David McCarthy Memorial Foundation.

“We are looking forward to getting these two great departments together for the 2 nd straight year. The David McCarthy Memorial Foundation has helped so many families in our community over the years and we are excited to donate the proceeds to such a meaningful organization again this year.” official quotes from Detective James DeFreze (Detective-City of Batavia Police) & Matt Morasco (City of Batavia Fire Department). 

Kids 12 & under are free to enter and tickets are just $10 with proceeds benefiting the foundation. Tickets can be purchased online through this link - HERE or in person at the Ice Arena.

Both events will have full-service food & beverage at the rink & 50-50 at each evening’s game. “We have hosted several events in partnership with CAN-USA Sports ownership and they have been all successful. We love to highlight the rink, our community, and who doesn’t love hockey!” – Kati Murray, General Manager, David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena. 

“Hockey being my first love and being able to highlight the heroes & teachers in our community playing the game I love while giving back to local charities is just a win win for the community here.” – CAN-USA Sports Owner Robbie Nichols.

If you or someone you know owns a local business who would like to help sponsor either or both of the events please contact Marc Witt, General Manager/Ownership – CAN-USA Sports, [email protected] for opportunities.

It's not too late to register for free hockey program this weekend, organizers say

By Joanne Beck
try hockey for free 2015
File Photo from 2015 of a Try Hockey For Free program at the David McCarthy Ice Arena in Batavia. 
Photo by Howard Owens

It’s not too late to register for a free kids’ hockey trial program this weekend, organizers say.

The Try Hockey For Free program, sponsored by Genesee Amateur Hockey Association, is for boys and girls aged four to nine, and runs from 10:40 a.m. to noon Saturday at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street, Batavia.

Organizers encourage participants to bring equipment if you have it. If you don’t have any equipment, do bring loose-fitting sweat or snow pants, a pair of hockey, mittens or winter gloves, a helmet (hockey or bike) and a smile.

Rental skates will be provided for free, courtesy of the ice arena. Hockey sticks will be given out for use, and must be returned upon the end of the session. A USA hockey jersey will be given to each participant.

The on-ice experience will include plenty of coaches on hand to give your child a great youth hockey experience, organizers say. “They will get an opportunity to learn the basic skills of youth hockey,” organizer Bob Gray said.

Registration is now open. Go to: (zip code 14020).

For more information, contact [email protected]

Remote video URL

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association announces try hockey for free day

By Press Release
try hockey for free
File photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

Genesee Amateur Hockey Association invites children to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street on Saturday, Nov. 4 for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of Hockey Week Across America. 

Starting at 10:40 a.m. to Noon local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

“We look forward to welcoming families to David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to try our great sport of ice hockey,” said Sharon Gray, Coordinator of the Event. “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge.

All your youngster needs is a helmet (bike or sports) and winter gloves. Skates are available at the Rink free of charge (due to the generous offering of the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena). The GAHA organization does have some used hockey helmets available for the event as well as a few hockey sticks. 

Players in attendance will be given a free hockey jersey to take home. To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit (Use zip code 14020)

For more information, please contact Sharon at [email protected] or 585-344-2248 (Coordinator for Try Hockey For Free).

Friends of the Rink scrap metal drive Sept. 30

By Joanne Beck

The Friends of the Rink organization will be sponsoring a Community Scrap Metal Drive fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena (rear parking lot), 22 Evans St., Batavia. 

All proceeds will be used to fund needed ice rink improvement projects.

Unacceptable items include refrigerators, vehicle wheel rims with tires attached, items containing mercury, items with fluids inside or out, gas, oil, hydraulic fluids, tar, etc.

This event is held in cooperation with Ed Arnold Scrap Processors, in Corfu.

For more information, contact Bob Gray at 585-344-2248 or [email protected]

New playground, ice chiller, water meters, streets in city's future

By Joanne Beck
Austin Park playground
City Council has agreed to pursue a grant for up to $500,000 to upgrade the playground equipment and pavilion at Austin Park in Batavia. 
Photo by Howard Owens.

For a 40-minute meeting, City Council got the ball rolling for some major spending Monday, including a minimum of $2.5 million for an ice chiller at the McCarthy ice arena, a $650,000 capital project for several city streets, pursuit of a $500,000 grant to outfit Austin Park with an inclusive playground and a $1.73 million water meter replacement effort.

Council also agreed to submit an application for a $1,235,000 grant of matching funds to upgrade the ice rink chiller system as part of a state Climate Smart Communities Grant Program and transfer $12,500 of video lottery terminal money (Batavia Downs Gaming revenue) for use by LaBella Associates for grant-writing services.

The ice chiller has been an issue since at least last year when council approved emergency spending for a refrigerant to keep the equipment operational. During a City Council meeting in June, members of the ice arena world, including a Batavia Ramparts coach, Friends of the Rink, and rink operator Matt Gray detailed the many activities that have reinvigorated the Evans Street facility.

Gray also outlined the difficulties of continuing an ice rink with a piece of equipment that was failing, costly and time-consuming to maintain. No one on council argued that the rink has vastly improved this past year, and all agreed they wanted to see it continue as a city recreational resource.

Council’s hope is to obtain a matching grant for bond financing to purchase the new ice chiller; otherwise, the total cost, with interest over time, will cost about $4 million, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

Council’s approval to pursue an environmental protection fund grant of up to $500,000 would be part of an Austin Park Master Plan renovation. The money would go toward new, inclusive playground equipment and upgrades to the current pavilion at the park that’s adjacent to the city police station parking lot. 

Hart Street road work
State CHIPs money is going to work on Hart Street, along with Norris, Fairmont and Madison avenues, in the City of Batavia this summer. 
Photo by Howard Owens.

Work began shortly before council officially approved the $650,000 capital project for four streets on the city’s north side. Traffic cones, dust, and those grooved, wavy lines in the pavement were evident from grading work Monday afternoon on Hart Street, between Bank and State streets.

The work, paid for with state Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funds, is targeted for Fairmont, Madison and Norris avenues and Hart Street.  

Council will also be pursuing two more grants: one to offset the cost of replacing customer water meters and a $500,000 New York Main Street grant for building and streetscape improvements.

The city will be replacing water meters for the remaining two-thirds of customers that have not yet gotten new meters as part of a climate change mitigation effort.

The local match for the project is $434,000, to be paid for through Water Fund Reserves, out of a total expense of $1.73 million, Tabelski said. Council is to apply for a grant from the state Environmental Facilities Corp., which has up to $15 million available through its Green Innovation Grant Program.

Roller skate night at The McCarthy brings back memories for group of Skate 98 alum

By Howard B. Owens
Doug Palmer roller skate
Doug Palmer takes a turn around the rink on an 80 and 90s Skate Night at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia on Friday night. Palmer is one of a group of friends who remembers Skate 98 fondly.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Some of the Skate 98 family was back together at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Friday night for an 80 and 90s adult-only roller skate party.

It was perhaps most evident when the smash 1979 hit from Sister Sledge, "We Are Family," came on the sound system.

Just like old times, a group of six long-time skating friends formed a line and skated together -- as they did when they were all much younger -- around the rink.

"We're all older now," said Doug Palmer. "As much as we all want to skate to 'We are Family,' we can't do that whole song. We started doing our line during 'We Are Family' to kind of do that throwback to Skate 98, but these guys are like, 'Doug, you can take the front,' and I'm like, 'I'm on point Oh, God! So as soon as your legs start feeling it, you slow down there's somebody else right there behind you, so you ditch out and let somebody else take point."

Still, it was a fun night, all agreed.

The group included Mark Mcvay, wife Kelly Mcvay, Mark's brother Craig, along with Palmer, Alan Gilford, and Pat Gaudy.

It was the first time in a rink in 30 years for Gilford. Mark was wearing skates from 1977, while Kelly, her skates were from ninth grade, and Gaudy's skates he bought when he was 17.

The old adage that you never forget how to ride a bicycle must also apply to roller skating.  Even Gilford exuded a confidence moving around the rink, not as evident in some other skaters.

"The skate was all right," said Gilford, a former skate guard at Skate 98 and so is a bit older than the rest of the group at 71. "My legs are fine, but my ankles felt a little jittery."

They all agreed that the arrival of The McCarthy as a roller skate rink is a welcome development but said not all the music being played is appropriate for skating.  Some of it needs more of a dance beat, they said, a bit more Funk, perhaps.

"It can't just be any music from the era," Palmer said. "It's got to be skate music."

Palmer has been coming to the open skates on Friday nights since they started a few weeks ago just to "get the webs off."

"I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of these guys," he said.

They all have fond memories of Skate 98, a roller rink that was once on Route 98 heading toward Alexander.  They remember the all-night skates, the game room, the contests, hanging out with friends, and the skates guards -- during a skating break -- throwing out rolls of quarters on the floor and the mad scramble for the kids to pick them up.

"They all went right back into the games in the game room," Palmer recalled.

Gaudy said, "I met all my friends there, even met most of my girlfriends there." 

Which reminded Palmer of "make out corner."  

A place he had to avoid once his dad became a skate guard.

"Or my ears would get a lot longer," he said.

When Skate 98 closed after a fire, it was the end of an era in Genesee County and for some the end of roller skating for a while.

"When it went away, it kind of sucked," Palmer said. "Everybody had to go to Buffalo or Rochester to skate, then they didn't want to drive with their kids 45 minutes to go roller skating, so having a place that is local again, even with this here, I would love to have a place in Batavia again."

Meaning he would like to see a year-round, full-time roller skating venue.

Skating has always been a family affair in the Mcvay clan, Kelly said.

"It’s continued to be a family thing for us," Kelly said. "We go to Lockport and Tonwanda, and our kids come with us, and our grandkids now skate with the little walkers, so it’s nice to have this, even if it’s only to August."

roller skating
Photo by Howard Owens
mark and kelly mcvay skate night
Mark and Kelly Mcvay.
Photo by Howard Owens.
skate 98 group
The Skate 98 group at the skate night: Alan Gilford, Doug Palmer, Kelly Mcvay, Mark Mcvay, Craig McVay, and Pat Gaudy.
Photo by Howard Owens.

'Mayhem' coming to Batavia ice arena July 16

By Joanne Beck
Wrestling promo at Muckdogs game by Ognibene
There was some 'Mayhem' Saturday during a Batavia Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium, with a visit from “Invincible” Vince Valor, left, “Buck Wild” Thomas Kennedy, Zachary Arquette and John “Koslov” Avery on hand to stir up excitement for the upcoming Mayhem at the McCarthy wrestling event on July 16.
Photo by Steve Ognibene.

As operators of the David M. McCarthy ice arena continue to stretch the limits and imagination of what the arena can offer to the community, the latest will be a wrestling event on July 16 at 22 Evans St., Batavia.

Mayhem at the McCarthy will feature autographs and a meet and greet with "Jake the Snake" Roberts, "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase, and "Buff the Stuff" Bagwell, for what is certain to be an unusual form of entertainment for the arena and this area.

"We just thought this is something that hasn't been around here in awhile, and they have a big following at Riverworks in Buffalo, so we thought we'd give them a try," ice rink manager Kati Murray said. 

Wrestling adds to the list of roller skating, ice motorcycle racing and a youth game night at the rink.

Doors open at 4 p.m. and the event is to begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 for second and third rows, $20 fourth and fifth rows, and $15 general admission.

To purchase tickets, go to ESWTIX.COM.

No more delays for ice chiller, council to vote on purchase at July meeting

By Joanne Beck


Rachael Tabelski, Matt Gray, Bob and Sharon
Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski and Matt Gray, owner/operator of the McCarthy ice arena, make a presentation to City Council Monday in Council Chambers at City Hall. Behind Gray are his folks, Bob and Sharon, members of Friends of the RInk.
Photo by Joanne Beck.

As summer has just officially thunderstormed its way into the area, it may seem as though there’s plenty of time to put a major equipment decision on ice at the McCarthy arena on Evans Street. Especially when it could cost upwards of $4 million if the city doesn’t get any grant funding.

But from the appeals and official presentations heard during City Council’s conference session Monday evening, time is of the essence. A rapidly failing ice chiller isn’t likely to survive another full season, and without a working chiller, of course, there is no ice, no hockey program, and no evolving 12-month facility that just celebrated “a great first year,” according to arena operator Matt Gray.

That success hasn’t been without a fair share of struggles for Gray and his staff to keep the 20-plus-year-old chiller operational, he said.

“Our staff is doing everything they can to keep it running. It's a great expense with the R 22 (refrigerant). We do have leaks. It's costing, you know, our capital budget through the city is thousands of dollars a year. And that's one of the reasons why it has to be done because we're losing money,” Gray said. “Our staff during the winter, seven times, 10 times a week, are going up onto the roof, and they're thawing out a broken evaporator up on the roof, it freezes solid, it's 20 degrees out, 10 degrees when the wind’s blowing. It can't wait an hour  … We know we have a challenge for this coming year. We've already sat down with all the staff, and they're up for it. 

"We need to make it through this coming season," Gray said. "And we need to stick to the timetable hopefully for 2024 because of the 25 season so that we can open up in September of that season.”

His plea was supplemented by speaker Bob Gray, his dad and one of the founders of Friends of the Rink, who read a list of the many activities, fundraisers, events and related supporters that rally around the ice rink’s purpose. 

From a free hockey try-out day for kids and wrestling to an 80s roller skating party and mega garage sale, in addition to the regular youth and adult hockey leagues, the rink has become an incrementally improved facility that council members should check out for themselves, the elder Gray said.

Tim Sprague of Batavia Ramparts
"The spirit behind the Batavia Ramparts right now, the vibe, the buzz, the people have come back, it is amazing, and I would recommend anybody come down and take a look at just what’s going on there," Tim Sprague said on behalf of Batavia Ramparts during Monday's City Council meeting.
Photo by Joanne Beck.

Tim Sprague spoke on behalf of the Batavia Ramparts youth hockey league, endorsing the rink not just for those players but for others outside of the city that use the facility. The Ramparts has become 200 members strong, and his own participation as a kid got Sprague through a tough time in his life when his mom died, he said.

“Growing up on Harvester Avenue, it was really helpful to have a place where I could go with my friends where they were like family, and I was able to be a part of that hockey community,” he said. “So it's not just the local area people that are using it, it's driving from all around, and it's pulling people into our community. And you're getting to see things that are happening at the rink. I honestly, the dirt bike thing I thought was a wild idea. I couldn't believe how successful that was to see that happen on the ice, and the amount of support that received was just really cool.

“So that's just all I really wanted to say, is just the support that Batavia Ramparts has for that rink and what it means to us. So thank you, we appreciate it,” he said.

John Roach of Batavia came to the meeting to comment on another topic, but while at the podium, he added that investing in a new chiller was “a no-brainer.”  A couple of council members seemed to agree.

Councilman-at-large Bob Bialkowski appreciated the fact that the arena was being handled by someone local, and that has made a difference, he said. Council President Eugene Jankowski believes that the arena is “only getting better every day” and “hopefully we can get this chiller thing resolved.” Councilman John Canale has a lot of drum students that use the rink and believes that “we’re onto something, let’s keep it going.”

Paul Viele thanked the Grays for what they do to support the rink and asked, “What can we do to expedite this grant for them?”

The Climate Smart Communities grant, in the amount of $1,235,000, wouldn’t be available until December, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said. In the meantime, the council can consider applying for a bond to afford the $2.5 million capital project and purchase the chiller. Council would then approve a resolution to apply for the grant, which would be announced in December. The project would be put out for bid and award, to be installed between April and September 2024, before the new hockey season begins.

Tabelski presented two options if the council agrees to go forward with purchasing a new chiller. One is the cost of a debt service payment plan based on 25 years with interest, and the city doesn't get the grant. That tab amounts to $4 million, versus a total offset by the $1.23 million grant and decreased interest payments. 

Her recommendation is based on a feasibility study conducted by the New York Power Authority, which concluded that the chiller should be replaced as a matter of financial practicality.

“You've heard me say it many, many, many times over the past two years. We operate on the R-22 refrigerant, which has been phased out of production. We spent over $90,000 in 21 and 22. You remember the emergency purchases for either refrigerant or oil during that time period. So we built reserves. However, those reserves are being flushed down into buying this refrigerant,” she said. “They absolutely recommend replacing the chiller, the evaporative cooler.

“Specifically, the grant has timeline parameters. So I'm gonna go through it in the presentation, but we have a choice to make tonight to approve a $2.5 million project and have council look at the two different scenarios of bonding and investment. One with a grant and one without,” she said. “My ask tonight is actually to approve it, not knowing whether we get the grant or not, by letting you know we do have sufficient funds in the general fund to make those bond payments. So again, we wouldn't know about the grant until December if Council chooses to 1. approve the capital project and 2. to apply for this grant. So it's kind of like we need to get started now to hit the April timeline of when the ice comes up to move forward with the chiller replacement.”

Council moved several resolutions to the next business meeting on July 10 so that the group could vote on:

  • Approving the $2.5 capital project to purchase a new chiller and evaporator system for the ice rink.
  • Using a new county program that provides a one-time use of $5,000 for grant-writing services to pursue a Climate Smart Communities grant to offset the cost of the new chiller.
  • Agreeing to apply for the Climate Smart Communities grant of $1,235,000.

Friday night is skate night at The McCarthy

By Howard B. Owens
mccarthy skate night june 23 2023
Deborah Deegan, a new resident of Batavia, went to the David M. McCarthy Ice Arena for the first time on Friday for Skate Night.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Friday night skate nights came to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena at the right time for new Batavia resident Deborah Deegan. 

And she likes it better than the open skate options she had in Rochester.

"There's not that many places, even in Rochester," Deegan said. "There's only Horizon, and there is a place called Skate Lovers. It's very similar to what you guys are doing here, but it's not an actual rink. It's like a warehouse. And I think they built the flooring, so it's not quite as good as the floor in here. And I don't like the music that much. It's not my music. I like the music here."

And at The McCarthy, she said, you can't beat the price.

"Five dollars is like a quarter of the costs of going to Horizon in Rochester and half the cost of going to Skate Lovers," she said.

The 32-year-old Deegan said she is pretty new to Batavia and is working at Copperhead Creek.  She loves to skate and is happy the operators of The McCarthy have started Friday night skate nights. She said she loves figure skating and enjoys getting the extra practice time.  She is also involved in roller derby.

She started ice skating when she was little but could never do much except go forward. Roller skating, she said, has improved her ice skating.

"Two years ago, when the rinks opened back up after COVID, I found myself sitting there going, 'Why, when have I been skating since I was four years old, I can't do anything cool?' From there, I decided I was going to teach myself how to go backward. And here we are, two years later, and skating at the skate park on these (roller rinks), is what has gotten me so much progress. When I got back on the ice rink, I could do jumps and all types of stuff that I could never do before."

Deegan said Batavia residents who haven't been to skate night yet should come out on a Friday night. The floor is good, the price is right, the music makes it fun, and it's also a great workout. She said too many people spend way too much time on their phones. They need to be more active.

"I also do this to get fit," she said. "I read that professional skaters burn up to 800 calories an hour, which is, like, unheard of. So it's a great way to get physical activity and a workout in without actually working out."

The McCarthy now has shelves of new skates available for kids and adults. See our previous story: GC Youth Bureau bets on fun for youth with purchase of skates at The McCarthy.

The regular Friday night skate is from 7 to 9 p.m., with the exception of July 7, when there will be an 80s and 90s skate night party from 8 to 11 p.m.  The entry fee for that event is $10 with $5 rentals and includes a DJ. It's a 21-and-over event with beer and cider served. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

mccarthy skate night june 23 2023
mccarthy skate night june 23 2023
mccarthy skate night june 23 2023
mccarthy skate night june 23 2023
mccarthy skate night june 23 2023

GC Youth Bureau bets on fun for youth with purchase of skates at The McCarthy

By Joanne Beck
YB skates
Genesee County Youth Bureau skates purchased for the David M. McCarthy Ice Arena in Batavia.
Photo submitted by Daniel Calkins.

No matter what you may think about online sports betting venues, they are being put to good use locally by funding youth development initiatives, Genesee County Youth Bureau Director Daniel Calkins says.

The Youth Sports Education Fund, garnered from portions of online sports betting proceeds, has so far meant $16,787 for youth-related activities, with about $5,000 of that going for the purchase of 71 pairs of funky 80s-themed rollerskates, Calkins said.

“I was talking to (ice rink operator) Matt Gray and he said they were having trouble getting skates for the ice rink,” Calkins said Friday. “So we set up a program that if a youth goes there, they pay the $5 admission and can use the skates for free.”

The neon-colored skates, meant to be low-maintenance and long-lasting, were purchased from RC Sports out of Kansas, in a range of children’s and adult sizes. They will be available for rent or free for youth at the David M. McCarthy Ice Arena on Evans Street in Batavia.

“We promote that to give kids greater access to recreational activities,” Calkins said. “We will be having events throughout the summer. And during ice season, it will be the same. If a kid comes in to ice skate, they’ll get to use the ice skates for free. The ice rink has been wonderful, our family game night was the kick-off to the skates being there.

“It’s about making Genesee County more accessible to having fun things to do,” he said. “We want to be an active part in the change here.”

That total funding also went toward kayaks to be used at DeWitt Recreational Area on Cedar Street and to help restore the financial loss suffered by the Athletic Youth Soccer Organization in Oakfield during the pandemic, Calkins said.

Genesee County receives a nine-month allocation, and “hopefully, we get the same funding next year,” Calkins said.

The Youth Sports Education Fund goes to the county’s general fund and is then disbursed to the Youth Bureau, County Manager Matt Landers said.

“The intent is definitely to be as impactful to county youth and families as possible,” Landers said  “Daniel is continually looking for positive activities for families in Genesee County.” 

Answering The Batavian about whether he has tried out the new skates. “I have not tried them because I don't want to embarrass my kids!”

If you’re interested in trying them out, the McCarthy has an open family skate night from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday.

GC Youth Bureau to host Family Game Night Friday

By Press Release
2022 family game night
2022 File photo of Genesee County Youth Bureau's Family Game Night, which rotates around to various locations in the county. This year it will be at the David McCarthy ice arena in Batavia.

Press Release:

Genesee County Youth Bureau will be hosting its 20th annual Family Game Night from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, 22 Evans St., Batavia.

The night will consist of interactive booths with activities, games and prizes for families and youth serving organizations. This event is free and includes pizza and assorted beverages. 

Each family will take home one brand new board game after they visit each booth so they can start their own family game night!  Just for attending you will be entered into a raffle to win one of several prizes from businesses all around Genesee County. 

Following the event, please stick around for free roller skating with your family! (Please bring skates as rentals are limited) Adults must be accompanied by a child to receive the board game.

Please call the Youth Bureau for more information or to register at 585-344-3960.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau would also like to thank Applebee’s, Lamb Farm, Alabama Hotel, Terry Hills, BJ’s, Subway and YWCA for donating, and David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena for hosting the event.

Get your skates ready for some Friday night fun at The McCarthy

By Joanne Beck
rollerskating at rink

For anyone who grew up in Genesee County, you may recall those fun weekend nights of pulling on a pair of roller skates and gliding around the floor of Skate 98 as a DJ blasted dance and rock tunes and the dimmed atmosphere was a great canvas for colored scrolling lights.

If you’re yearning for some of those fun nostalgic times — and decent exercise to boot — or looking to build some new memories, management at the McCarthy Ice Arena has brought back public roller and inline skating from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday. 

And for only $5 a person, rink Manager Kati Murray says.

“We’re trying to get people in here to skate for a couple of hours,” she said to The Batavian Friday afternoon. “We do not have rentals, but we’re in the process of getting them, we might rent them out from a place. We have music, just like we do for the ice skating.”

The Batavian asked if the place does anything with lighting, and Murray said, “Funny you ask that.”

“We’re in the process of putting up lights that flash, we’re putting them up for next Friday,” she said. “We’ll have flashing lights and a black light, and we’re getting updated music.”

Skaters will get the entire floor to bop along to tunes, in between taking breaks for a snack from the concession stand. This is the second week of public skating, and Murray believes it will take some time for people to catch on that the rink is open for this activity.

rollerhockey at rink

There are also two nights of floor hockey: Tuesdays have five adult teams already signed up, and Wednesdays are offering pickup teams for kids 14 and under from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and one for adults 7 to 8:30 p.m. Those are just beginning, and anyone interested in joining can just show up at the designated time.

The cost for Wednesday’s teams is $10 a person, and goalies are free. For more information about any of the teams, email [email protected].

There’s still time to dig out and dust off those rollerblades from the garage, and head out to the ice arena on Evans Street, Batavia. For more information, go to McCarthy Ice Arena. or call 585-250-4040.

Submitted photos of rollerskating at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia, top, and playing floor hockey, above.

The McCarthy jammed with vendors for this weekend's Home Show

By Howard B. Owens


It's going to be warm outside this weekend so if you need a break from the unseasonable heat, Chamber of Commerce President Brian Cousins has a suggestion -- come on down to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena for the 2023 Home Show.

"I know it's a great weekend," Cousins said. "The weather this weekend is awesome, which is unheard of in April -- you get 80-degree weather. But you know, the inside of the Ice Arena is a little bit cooler than outside. It's like natural air conditioning in here. So it's very comfortable for people. I'm looking forward to seeing as many people can come out do so to work on their to-do lists."

This is the first home show for Cousins as chamber president, and he's excited to see it off to a good start.  All of the vendor booths are full, and the chamber even had potential vendors trying to sign up for booths on Friday morning.

Admission is $3 for adults, and hours Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

"Make a list," Cousins said, "check it twice when you're out sitting on your deck or something this weekend, then make a quick trip out, spend an hour to get some different ideas and things that you wanted to do over the course of the last two, three years, especially over the COVID time period when you couldn't get somebody to help you out with things."

Photos by Howard Owens











Photos: Xtreme Ice Racing at The McCarthy on Friday night

By Howard B. Owens


The David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena was full of racing fans and the roar of engines on Friday night for Xtreme Ice Racing night, sponsored by the Batavia Muckdogs and CanUSA.

Muckdogs/CanUSA owner Robbie Nichols said as many as 200 more people wanted to attend but tickets were sold out by Friday morning. He said there may be two nights of racing next year so more people can enjoy the event.

Photos by Howard Owens







Muckdogs announce XTreme ice racing event at the McCarthy

By Press Release

Press release:

CAN-USA Sports is very excited that Xtreme International Ice Racing will be here on Friday March 31st, at 7:00 PM at David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to host the XiiR World Championship!

XiiR (Xtreme International Ice Racing) is a motorcycle racing tour...ON ICE! Man and machine going from 0-60mph in under 3 seconds, with Speedway bikes and quads that are modified to compete on an indoor ice arena. There are over 2000 metal studs added to the tires and there are NO BRAKES! What does that mean? PURE ADRENALINE! It is THE fastest sport on ice and one of the fastest sports in the world. The rush of so much power and speed on something as unpredictable as ice, has whipped audiences into a frenzy and gained new fans across the country.  Each year's series continues to get better... drawing bigger crowds, more sponsors and riders from all over the globe.​

We are also inviting all members of the media to attend a special pre-event on March 30th, at 3:00 pm at David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena to come out to experience the joy of riding on the ice! Please let us know if you are able to make it! 

Tickets are on sale now! Call (814)-504-9979 or you can purchase tickets at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena located on 22 Evans St, Batavia.

Try Hockey for Free brought out nearly 50 kids to learn the sport

By Joanne Beck


It was a full house Saturday at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, with 40 registered and seven additional walk-in youngsters laced up and ready for some "Try Hockey For Free," event Coordinator Sharon Valyear Gray says.

The event was hosted by Genesee Amateur Hockey Association as part of USA Hockey Week Across America. Local youth, ages 4 to 9, were welcomed at the rink to experience getting on the ice, learning fundamentals of how to skate, how to get up after falling, basic skills with a hockey stick and shooting pucks into a hockey net, with the guidance of a head coach and on-ice helpers, Gray said.

This year the youngsters had the experience of shooting at actual goalies Rhyss Tanner of the Varisty Batavia Notre Dame team as well as Leo Gray of the Junior Varisty BND team.

“We welcomed families to McCarthy Ice Rink from Batavia, Albion, Alexander, Stafford, Medina, LeRoy, Caledonia, Pavilion, Rochester, Corfu, Freedom, Warsaw, Honeoye Falls, Castile, Oakfield, Darien Center, and Holley to try our great sport of ice hockey,” Gray said. “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces and for the youngsters the on-ice experience.”

Head coach Erik Triftshauser, along with Fred Hamilton – both with more than 30 years experience as GAHA  and high school players and coaches -- and on-ice helpers from the United high school teams, worked with the kids, who all seemed "so excited to be coached," and skating with local athletes, Gray said.

The event is hosted by the Try Hockey for Free Coordinators Sharon and Bob Gray and the GAHA Beginner Player Coordinator Marcia Barnes on behalf of the Genesee Amateur Hockey Association, which provided the ice, and the McCarthy Rink staff – General Manager Katie Murray, Rink Operating Manager Matt Gray and their "great staff," Sharon Gray said. 

The team’s goal is to provide the hockey experience to area youngsters free of charge and encourage them in October to become a player in the GAHA Beginner Program, which begins the first week of October. The Beginner Program consists of two sessions (October to December and January to March) with a total of 15 on-ice hours per session.

The GAHA Beginner Program started Session II in early January and added 17 out of 23 new players from the November “Try Hockey for Free” Event. Gray encourages folks to mark your calenda for this fall, as the next try hockey for free event is the first Saturday in November.

Skates used by the youngsters were provided free of charge by the McCarthy Rink Management Group.

USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene







'Skully McPepsi' makes its McCarthy Ice Arena debut

By Mike Pettinella


The Zamboni machine at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street has a new name. But it’s not Zam-Pepsi or even Peps-oni.

“Just call it Skully McPepsi,” said Batavian Tom Fluker, new business manager for Pepsi’s Upstate New York market, as he – with help from a group of Mite level hockey players – unveiled the updated ice cleaning machine this afternoon.

The Zamboni’s facelift is a product of Fluker’s initial idea of an imposing skull in a hockey setting, the artistry of Janette Biehler of Beals Graphic Design of Rochester and the precision “wrapping” by Guy Laesser’s Unitech Application of Le Roy.

“This is something that we wanted to do as part of our relationship with Matt Gray, whose company is managing the rink and also through his Eli Fish and Alex’s Place restaurants,” said Fluker (pictured at top with youth hockey player Abram Lopez).

The Zamboni now sports space age colors of purple and blue, punctuated by the logos of Pepsi Zero, Gatorade, McCarthy Ice Arena, Batavia Notre Dame United and Ramparts youth hockey.

But the main attraction – depicted on the front and top of the Zamboni -- is the gold skull and cross sticks, featuring a flaming puck between its teeth.

“It really is a work of art,” Fluker said.

Gray thanked Pepsi for stepping forward to provide the Zamboni’s new look.

“This is a big part of the stuff that we've done -- the work that we've been doing to improve the arena,” said Gray, owner of Batavia Sports Facility Management. “Several businesses recently signed on as dasher board sponsors and all of that money specifically went to the lighting upgrades that we just installed last week.”

Companies that supported the lighting project included Arctic Refrigeration, Casella Waste Systems, Eli Fish Brewing Company, McAndrew Funeral Home, Max Pies Furniture, Batavia Muckdogs and Suburban Propane, Gray said.


From left, Tom Fluker, Pepsi sales manager; Ryan Webster and Jed Davis, Zamboni drivers/maintenance, and Kati Murray, general manager of Batavia Sports Facility Management.


These Mite hockey players were excited to see the new look Zamboni. From left, Levi Jafari, Luis Reyes, Connor Reidmiller, Jameson Smith, Liam Langiewicz and Joey Sacheli.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Torch Relay for Empire Games reaches Batavia

By Howard B. Owens


The Empire State Winter Games Torch Relay passed through Batavia on Tuesday, with a visit to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arenda during a Ramparts practice.

One of the Ramparts coaches, Mark Kuntz, carried the torch around the rink and Rampart players skated along with him.

This is the second year the torch has been brought to The McCarthy.



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