As his daughter, Melinda, said in her nomination letter to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, John Alm may have enjoyed football, baseball and speed skating, but his true passion was ice hockey. Recognized by many as the "father of youth hockey," Alm was responsible for developing boys and men's clubs in the area and was a major force in bringing an artificial ice surface into the city of Jamestown.Long before that ice rink - Allen Park - became a reality, Alm took things into his own hands and built one himself - inside his barn in Driftwood on Route 430. And from 1966 to 1975, that small, but popular rink provided a home to some of the area's best young hockey players, as well as plenty of "fun skaters" from the area who just wanted to enjoy a day on the ice with their families. Figure skating was also taught at the old barn.
Alm was, and still is, a mentor, a teacher and a coach, sharing his knowledge of the sport with dozens of loyal players who visited his rink, along with even providing equipment if the need arose. He also organized travel teams that visited Buffalo, Lockport, Orchard Park, Clarence, Tonawanda and Cheektowaga, Erie, Olean, Bradford and other locations so players would not only learn the sport, but good sportsmanship as well.