For more than 40 years, Garden Roller Rink has been a staple in this community.

Perhaps the most popular spot for birthday parties for children and teenagers, the rink has been a symbol of joy and an escape from stress for almost two full generations.

Now a member of the third generation of a family, who’s wrestled the COVID-19 monster as much as any family has, is working to salvage it.

On Monday, the newspaper printed a story about Chris Franz and his mission. Franz lost both his dad and his sister to the coronavirus — Bill and Bethann were also smiling faces who’d greeted us at Garden Roller Rink over the years. They’re gone, and he doesn’t want to see the rink go, too, he told the newspaper.

“My father was the face of Garden Roller Rink for over 35 years and provided the single source of income for his household,” Chris Franz said. “HIs passion in life was providing a sanctuary for families to bring their children to, with the reassurance that their kid would be accepted for who they were.”

The “pick a wall,” limbo and other games supplied fun times and created memories for so many in this area. Our stance is, if you do want to help save the rink, there’s a chance to do so.

We always encourage any of our readers to invest in their passions. If joining Chris Franz on his mission is a passion, go for it. It appears many of you are already jumping at the opportunity to assist.

Visit if you choose to donate. As indicated on The Daily Independent’s Facebook page, there is another fundraiser listed under the name Debbie Perkins Qualls that is dedicated to saving the rink.

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