About the Ice Bowl


December 2012

What is an Ice Bowl®? Ice Bowl® is a disc golf event held in January or February for fun and with a mission to increase local awareness of disc golf by raising charitable funds to combat hunger. The following three (more-or-less mandatory) Ice Bowl® Rules convey the spirit of Ice Bowl®:

  1. Under no circumstances, may an Ice Bowl® be cancelled or postponed because of weather conditions.
  2. No wimps or whiners are allowed.
  3. There are no excuses for not attending. Either be there or be called out as a wimp!

In Nebraska Ice Bowls are held to benefit the Food Bank of Lincoln, the Food Bank for the Hearthland in Omaha, and Project Hunger in Hastings. In 2013 the Ronald McDonald Foundation was included. Here is a story of the impact of contributions to Ben Rutkowski.


With the long tradition of Ice Bowl season going strong, it’s easy to see this as just another time to play golf and ‘do our part.’ For Nebraska Disc Golfer Ben Rutkowski, a charity event is more meaningful and attaches new life to the charity tradition.

Rutkowski, originally from Maine, moved to Omaha a few months ago for his wife’s job. They recently relocated from Indiana where his family of 3, soon to be 4, journeyed through hardships many of us are lucky to bypass.

Olive Aletta Jean was born  at 23 weeks and had pneumonia, a hole in her heart, and was thought to be blind. Frail but precious, Olive spent the first year of her life in NICU facing an uphill battle.  Rutkowski would work two full time jobs then drive two hours to the area hospital capable of caring for Olive, just to spend another weekend with his family.  “It was hard. It all seems like a blur, but you really just do what you have to at a time like that. Looking back I don’t really know how we managed to keep it together. The doctors and nurses saved our daughter. The Ronald McDonald House saved our marriage and our sanity.”

While nearly living in the hospital, the kindness of nurses and the Ronald McDonald Foundation brought a sense of comfort and normalcy to a situation that was anything but. “When you are so far from home, and have basically a trunk full of belongings, it was a real blessing to have an organization like the Ronald McDonald House where we could eat, sleep, do laundry, and escape the hustle and noise of the hospital for an hour or two.”

When thinking of ways to give back, Rutkowski loved the idea of a charity disc golf event.  Upon learning more about Ice Bowls, pairing up with an existing program seemed like a great opportunity. Long time Nebraska Disc Enthusiast and future Hall of Famer Mr. Bill was happy to help.

Omaha’s Ice Bowl will be at Seymour Smith Park. If anyone has played with Ben, they appreciate his humility and compassion on the course that comes from a deeper understanding of the fragility of life.  Everyone is invited to attend. The purpose is fun, camaraderie and a practical way to give back.



One Response to “About the Ice Bowl”


  1. Ice Bowl 2014 | nebdisc - December 12, 2013

    […] Ice-Bowl […]

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