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Phillippe Bertrand wins $5,000, donates it to Morristown Ice Rink

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MORRISTOWN – Philippe Bertrand’s status as a prize winner is translating to a win for the village.

The Morristown farmer won a $5,000 sweepstakes from Monsanto, an international biotechnology company, and is donating that money to the village ice skating rink.

Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities fund awarded Mr. Bertrand an initial $2,500 prize and, because St. Lawrence County has been declared a disaster area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to drought last summer, an additional $2,500 was attached.

Mr. Bertrand, who buys seeds from Monsanto, said he “used to ice skate” and wanted the money to support others in the community who share that interest.

Village Superintendent of Public Works Kevin J. Crosby said he appreciates the donation.

“With the first [$2,500] we are going to buy youth and adult hockey sticks, pucks, helmets, goals and a few more pairs of larger skates,” Mr. Crosby said.

Skates are already available, free of charge, at the village offices.

The next $2,500 will be used to make the ice rink more accessible.

“We’re going to take down the temporary lighting and put in permanent lighting with a timer,” Mr. Crosby said.

Work will also be done on the rink to ensure the plastic lining doesn’t get cut by skates as people get on and off the ice. But the ice skating rink, located under the village’s new pavilion, isn’t the only reason Mr. Bertrand donated the money.

“In the summer we do the tractor pull, and we use the pavilion,” Mr. Bertrand said.

Mr. Bertrand’s grandson, Blake, participated in his first tractor pull event at the field behind the fire hall last summer.

During the summer months, the ice rink is replaced by picnic tables and is used for a variety of community events.

Village trustees Francis Colby and John R. Barse also thanked Mr. Bertrand for his donation. A representative from Monsanto, scheduled to present the prize money, was scheduled to the ceremony on Thursday but did not show.

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