John Dale Youth Hockey Photo 1973

John Dale Youth Hockey Photo 1973

Imagine for a moment that it’s February in Menomonie, 1973. The Dunn County News runs a story about the construction of a new ice arena at the county fairgrounds; giving youth in the area the opportunity to ice skate away from the cold on an indoor rink.

The photo accompanying the 1973 story was of a then 8-year-old John Dale, who was in the second year “Squirt” program of the newly formed Menomonie Youth Hockey Association (MYHA), under the supervision of Ed Roethke.

The caption read “John Dale received this shiner playing hockey. John participates in the youth hockey program.”

That 8-year-old boy continued to play – and love – hockey for the next 10 years, with about 130 other youngsters from the area. John played hockey as a “Cougar” for seven years, playing over 200 games, including three state championships.

He went on to play for Menomonie High School’s first hockey team, formed in 1980. John’s love of hockey continued into adulthood, as he helped coach his son Jake’s hockey team in Hastings, Minnesota. John, along with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Jenna, never missed a single one of Jake’s games.

Following his unexpected passing in March of 2017, John’s family wanted to memorialize John and pay tribute to the role that hockey played in his life all those years. It is in his loving memory and for the friends he had yet to meet, that the John R. Dale Youth Hockey Memorial Scholarship has been established, to provide one or more youth members from the greater Menomonie area with the opportunity to participate in the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association’s “Squirts” or “U10” program by covering the full registration cost.

The full scholarship application and description is available from the MYHA website.

Through their fund at the Community Foundation, local families who are signing their child up for hockey will hear John’s story and feel the generosity of the Dale family year after year.

It is the mission of the Community Foundation of Dunn County to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Dunn County.

For more information about the Community Foundation or how you can become involved, contact Executive Director, Georgina Tegart at 715-232-8019 or by e-mail at

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