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Release Date: 
Friday, February 3, 2006

HFCC graduates carve ice for Motown Winter Blast

HFCC graduates carve ice for Motown Winter Blast

Dearborn residents J.R. and Alison Lorentz are having a blast at this year’s Motown Winter Blast. The two, graduates of Henry Ford Community College, are carving 126,000 lbs. of ice into 35 ice sculptures for all the world to see this Super Bowl weekend.

J.R., a 1994 HFCC graduate, and his wife, Alison, a 1997 HFCC graduate, own a Dearborn-based ice carving business, J.R.'s Ice Sculptures. For Winter Blast, J.R. will use 420 blocks of ice weighing a total of 126,000 lbs. He started the sculptures in December at Home City Ice in Romulus. He is carving all 32 NFL team logos, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the NFL logo and the Super Bowl XL logo. He carved all the ice sculptures for last year's Motown Winter Blast as well. J.R. has won awards in ice carving competitions. Alison, in addition to being an ice carver, is president of Abdite Industries in Taylor, a manufacturing company that makes aircraft engine components for helicopters for Rolls Royce.

The two met in HFCC's Culinary Arts program, and both wanted to be chefs. J.R. got involved in HFCC's Ice Carving Club, became club president, and decided to go into ice carving full time. Alison also got involved in the club and she and J.R. became friends. After graduation, J.R. started his company, he and Alison fell in love, got married, and the rest is history. Each year, J.R. donates an ice sculpture to HFCC's Culinary Arts spring banquet, which is a fund-raiser for student scholarships.

J.R. and Alison aren’t the only ones with ties to HFCC who will be carving ice to welcome visitors to the Super Bowl. The HFCC Ice Carving Club will be carving several ice sculptures this week for the City of Dearborn’s Welcome Center on Michigan Avenue in west Dearborn near the Bryant Library and Buddy’s Pizza.

According to Chef Richard Teeple, a Culinary Arts instructor at HFCC who is advisor to the HFCC Ice Carving Club, the club has been hired by the West Dearborn Merchants' Association to carve Super Bowl-themed ice sculptures the Welcome Center. Teeple is an award-winning ice sculptor and is a judge at many ice carving competitions. The HFCC club participates in the Plymouth Ice Spectacular every year as well as at other ice festivals in Michigan and around the country.

The ice carving event for the Super Bowl is a fund-raiser for the students. The money raised goes to a scholarship fund for HFCC's Culinary Arts/Ice Carving students. This is the only HFCC student club that raises its own scholarship money.

For more information about J.R. Ice Sculptures, call Alison Lorentz at 734-718-5366. For more information about the HFCC Ice Carving Club, call Chef Richard Teeple at 313-845-6391, club president Richard Yee at 734-306-3144, or club vice president Jeff Prather at 313-680-5303.