Blue Line Club will salute duo

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BELOIT - The Blue Line Club of Beloit will honor Kermit Voie and Tom Kohl tonight for their contributions to high school hockey and the hockey community.

The Lifetime Membership Award will be presented to Voie between the first and second periods of today's 7 p.m. Beloit Memorial Big Eight Conference game with Sun Prairie at the Edwards Ice Arena. Kohl, who passed away in 2006, will be honored posthumously.

Voie has lived in Beloit for 75 years. He has been a valued member of the Beloit hockey family for over 40 years.

Voie's participation in the sport began when his sons Roy and Paul became involved with skating at the Wendtland Cup speed skating races at Riverside Park and subsequently joined youth teams with the Beloit Youth Hockey Association. He was one of the hockey dads who helped make ice at the Riverside Park lagoon and outside rinks at Lincoln, Roosevelt and Vernon schools during the 1970s.

He was also one of the carpooling parents who shared in taking youth hockey players to the Ice Palace at the Wagon Wheel Resort in Rockton for home games.

Voie served as a coach for Mites through Bantam levels and won a state championship as a head coach and another as an assistant coach.

Most of the younger parents over the past two decades know him as the driver of the Edwards Ice Arena zamboni and never missing a day of being a Blue Line Club member in support of the BMHS Purple Knights and the Rock County Fury high school teams.

Kohl was a school bus driver transporting the BMHS hockey team to practices and games for 27 years, from 1979 through 2006.

Before Edwards Arena opened in December 1982, Beloit practiced at Janesville Ice Arena and the Wagon Wheel Ice Palace. The Beloit Memorial players had practice early in the morning before high school classes started, so the players caught Kohl's bus to and from practice each morning.

In addition to the practices, Kohl drove thousands of miles, safely transporting BMHS hockey teams to games around Wisconsin over those years.

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