A man who raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity this winter says he has warm feelings as he watches the spectacular backyard rink melt away.
"It's kind of, I don't know, bittersweet I guess," said Todd Churchill, who built a rink measuring 29 metres by 14 metres near his home in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, just outside St. John's.
The rink attracted national attention, corporate sponsors and players from around the region, eager to enjoy a game of hockey in the fresh air.
"It did raise a lot of money and it's sort of sad to see all the work I had done now sort of go away, and see the rink melt on me, but that's part of having an outdoor rink, I guess," Churchill told CBC News.
In all, Churchill's rink raised about $34,500 for three charities: Easter Seals, Rainbow Riders and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Churchill was motivated to build the rink, and raise money, to thank groups that have provided assistance to his son, Carter, 2, who is deaf and has cerebral palsy.
Churchill plans to start dismantling his rink in about a week. His mind, though, is already on the next hockey season.
"I'm looking forward to next year now and I learned a lot of things to do better next year," he said. "As good as it was this year, I definitely have some improvements to make for next year."