A Coon Rapids business is doing its best to keep employees on the payroll and support front-line health care workers at the same time.

Although the Cheap Skate roller rink is shut down due to Gov. Tim Walz’s Nov. 18 COVID-19 executive order, it is making nightly deliveries of “love, support and pizza” to the staff at Mercy Hospital, just up Coon Rapids Boulevard.

The rink’s “Pizzas for Heroes” campaign allows anyone from anywhere to “sponsor” a pizza for hospital staff through rink’s website. Ed Golebiowski, who operates Cheap Skate, has been making the deliveries himself, along with personalized thank you cards with notes from the sponsors.

Golebiowski said he was aware of some of the challenges faced by hospital staff because he and his wife have personal friends who work at Mercy. Politics aside, “the reality is these guys are struggling over there,” he said.

Golebiowski’s visits offer hospital staff a bright spot in their day.

“Every time I’m there, they’re thrilled,” he said.

Initially Golebiowski only delivered pizzas in the evening and only to a few departments. But when he put out a challenge on the professional social network LinkedIn, people across the country began sponsoring pizzas.

“Then we started getting pizzas from all over the place,” Golebiowski said.

Now the rink does daytime deliveries, too, with dozens of pizzas sponsored daily.

And the more orders he gets, the more employees Golebiowski can keep on the payroll, which he said is his other motivation for the program. He has capacity to expand deliveries if sponsorships continue to increase.

Sponsorship costs $19.95 for each extra large pizza. Sponsors can sign up at cheapskatecr.com.

The program will continue until the rink can reopen to the public.


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