Jim Hoffman

Jim Hoffman measures the ice regularly through the winter. He drills a hole in the ice, then uses a yard stick to measure its thickness. On Feb. 20, the ice was 21 inches thick. 

When Jim Hoffman watches people skating on the frozen Iowa River behind the Scenic City Boat Club, he sees more than children smacking pucks with hockey sticks and adults doing their best to fight gravity. He sees the history and the future of the boat club and Iowa Falls, all tied up in one.

For 20 years, Hoffman has given hundreds of his hours and thousands of his dollars to support and sustain the boat club. He’s a member of the non-profit organization’s board, and one of its fiercest supporters. In recent years, a big chunk of his work has been dedicated to maintaining the boat club’s ice rink in the winter months. But as much as his work is about preserving the boat club’s history, it’s also about making people happy. And that happiness – particularly in children – is never as evident as when they’re on the ice.

Ice Skating on the Iowa River, 1919

In this photo, property of the Iowa Falls Historical Society (scanned by Richard Gaulke and published on the History of Iowa Falls Facebook page), a group of people can be seen on the ice on the Iowa River in Iowa Falls in the early 20th century. 

Jim Hoffman Zamboni

Jim Hoffman bought a Zamboni - the pull-behind-a-tractor model, not the ride-on model - to clean the ice on the Iowa River at the Scenic City Boat Club in Iowa Falls. When the ice is thick enough, he uses it weekly to smooth a rink behind the boat club for ice skating. He's pictured cleaning the ice on Feb. 20, 2021.

Jim Hoffman

Jim Hoffman looks on from inside his John Deere compact tractor as two kids play hockey on the ice rink at the Scenic City Boat Club in Iowa Falls on Saturday, Feb. 20. Hoffman spends hours tending to the rink’s ice.

Jim Hoffman Zamboni

Jim Hoffman bought a Zamboni - the pull-behind-a-tractor model, not the ride-on model - to clean the ice on the Iowa River at the Scenic City Boat Club in Iowa Falls. When the ice is thick enough, he uses it weekly to smooth a rink behind the boat club for ice skating. He's pictured cleaning the ice on Feb. 20, 2021.

Jim Hoffman

Jim Hoffman uses a shovel to clear the last of the snow from a small landbound skating rink at the Scenic City Boat Club in Iowa Falls on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. Hoffman's company - Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls - bought and donated the rink to the boat club late last year to provide another place for kids to ice skate in the winter.

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