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HomeBusinessRibbon Cutting for Newly Named Sonju Arena in Two Harbors

Ribbon Cutting for Newly Named Sonju Arena in Two Harbors

“Sonju in Two Harbors is excited to announce the long-term partnership with Two Harbors Youth Hockey. Sonju has been a part of the Two Harbors and surrounding community since 1925. We’ve seen the birth and growth of Two Harbors Youth Hockey and have been able to partner with them to help secure the organization’s place in the future of the community and development of its youth. Sonju has always believed in giving back to the community that supports us and helping to grow its youth in positive ways. We look forward to a healthy future for the organization and we’re glad we get to be a big part of it. Sonju has pledged $300,000 to keep the organization strong into the future! We are so proud to be able to have the Lake County Arena be known as the Sonju Arena for now and into the distant future. We hope that many exciting and positive memories are formed here and for many years to come,” comments Bill Antilla, general manager at Sonju in Two Harbors.

The formerly named Lake County Arena has been around for quite some time. The building was built back in the late 60s. It was operated by the City of Two Harbors for many years and changed hands a while back to be operated by Lake county. Twenty years ago, Jes Lundgren returned to the area and the Two Harbors Youth Hockey Association started operating the arena building, which is still county owned to this day. Lundgren (or better known by the locals as “Lumpy”) works as the arena manager.

The hockey association approached the county to inquire about generating revenue by selling the naming rights to the facility a while back. Sonju placed a bid to partner with the arena, the bid was accepted, and Sonju signed a 20-year agreement to support the facility. With Sonju pledging to this partnership, this means that the arena is still owned by the county but now proudly displays the Sonju name. This gives Sonju more visibility and shows their commitment to the local community and youth athletics. The partnership also means that with Sonju’s support, it will help offset operating costs to keep player fees low. The arena is now able to provide even more affordable access to this experience for kids and their families. “We are grateful for the folks at Sonju showing their commitment and support of our local youth athletic programs here, and we look forward to this partnership with them,” comments Lundgren.

Youth hockey was organized in Two Harbors back in 1947. There are several youth hockey groups, boys teams, girls teams, co-ed (mites) teams, basically teams for all ages ranging from 4-15 years. These are formative experiences for the young kids that many go on to play for the local combined high school team, the NorthShore Storm. In the last couple of years there have been around 115 kids participating in youth hockey. “We’ve been really fortunate,” says Lundgren.

“For everyone here at the store that is from the Great Lakes area, it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to give back to a community that gives so much to our store. Growing up in the northland and playing in the arena myself, I’m humbled to be such a big part of the community. Sonju will continue to improve not only the way we do business here in the community but our ability to give back in any way we can,” says Antilla.

Approximately mid-August is when registration for youth hockey will open for the 2023-24 season in Two Harbors. The youth season begins mid-October through mid-March. If you are interested in getting your child(ren) involved in a local hockey league, please reach out to the arena manager, Jes Lundgren, at: Thyouthhockey@gmail.com. Boys and girls ages 4-15 and all skill levels are welcome! You can also find lots of valuable information on the Two Harbors Youth Hockey Association website at https://www.twoharborsyouthhockey.org.

Katee Rose
Katee Rose
Katee Rose grew up on the Great Lakes in upstate New York. She left home on a bicycle and embarked on a cross country trip to California following her graduation from college. This trip was the beginning of many more that eventually landed her in countries across Europe, Canada, Mexico and Central America. Learning the cultures, cuisines, history and traditions from the communities she’s spent time in around the world. Katee is passionate about community and social justice movements. As well as engaging with many forms of art and music. For the past 5 years she has called the North Shore home and has been enjoying homesteading a small slice of land in the Northwoods. She is involved in many community efforts around local food, building capacity for a more sustainable future and supporting the elders in the area.
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