Ice rink spreads cheer during time of healing

AMERICUS, Ga. – The Americus community is still mourning the loss of two fallen officers who were killed in the line of duty earlier this month, but one event aimed to spread Christmas cheer is also serving as a healing process for the community.

The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first ever Sumter on Ice in downtown Americus.   What was envisioned as a place to pass along the spirit of the season turned into so much more after the loss of Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr and Georgia Southwestern Officer Jody Smith.

“We had no idea when we planned this event that our community would truly need a place to gather together and heal.  You know when we started this event it was just a place to celebrate the holidays and now it has really turned into a place for everyone to gather together, to laugh together, and to heal together,” said Faith Pinnell with the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.

The day after Christmas was designated as “Skating for Service” this year at Sumter on Ice to honor law enforcement officers.

“It’s very special because we invited all of our public safety officials and their families to come and skate for free.  We just wanted to honor their service and sacrifice to our community and we’re having a great time,” Pinnell said.

Linda Harty’s husband is a sheriff’s deputy.  She volunteered her time Monday to help support the “Skating for Service” day in downtown Americus.

Harty says she is proud of the support law enforcement officers have been getting, which is a cause near and dear to her heart.

“Law officers at this point are kind of in danger of course at all times, but we’re supporting them and the community is supporting them,” she said.

Sumter on Ice runs through Friday from 4 until 9 p.m.  The cost is $5 to skate for one hour.  Skates are provided.


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