Panel named to lead hockey/Ice Arena fundraising

Bowling Green, O.—The names are synonymous with the Bowling Green State University Ice Arena and Falcon Hockey – Scott Hamilton, Garry Galley, and Mike Pikul. The University announced today that the three have agreed to lead a $5 million fundraising campaign to support the program and arena they love.

Hamilton, the Bowling Green native and Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, will serve as honorary chair of the effort. Galley and Pikul, members of BGSU’s 1984 national championship team, will reunite to co-chair the campaign entitled: “Bring Back the Glory!”

Hamilton, Galley and Pikul all say that the arena and hockey program are so important to them that they couldn’t say no to helping with the campaign.

“I learned all the basics of how to skate there. I learned how to entertain in the semi-annual Ice Horizons ice shows. I developed my love of hockey. Raised money for cancer research. Became everything I am today,” Hamilton said in describing how the arena played a central role in his life. “The rink has given so many memories to the people of Bowling Green. We need to bring it back to its days of glory!”

"Through BGSU and the hockey program I was able to develop my academic abilities along with learning many life lessons. The culmination of this was a National Championship that my teammates, my family and the Bowling Green community will never forget,” Pikul said. “I am confident that together we can rally the alumni and community to ensure the program is solid for many years to come."

Also joining the committee are:
-- Rob Blake, a former Falcon and current defenseman for the San Jose Sharks;
-- Tom Blakely, co-owner of Blakely Care Center in Bowling Green;
-- Alissa Czisny, the 2009 national figure skating champion and recent BGSU graduate;
-- Steve Green, a Bowling Green real estate agent with A.A. Green Realty and Mecca Management;
-- Michael Marsh, a Bowling Green attorney and former University trustee;
-- Jack Vivian, the Falcons’ first varsity hockey coach;
-- Van Wright, alumnus and assistant to the vice president for University advancement at BGSU.

"When asked if I wanted to help revive an arena and a nationally respected hockey program of over 40 years that has brought lifelong memories to so many,” Galley said, “my answer was ‘What can I do to help?’"

“You couldn’t ask for a better group of leaders,” said BGSU President Carol Cartwright. “These individuals represent the heart and soul of BGSU hockey, the arena, and the community.”

According to Marcia Sloan Latta, interim vice president for University advancement who is overseeing the campaign, the University is committed to success. “The hockey program is a vital part of our history, and we have assured our alumni and the Bowling Green community that the program will continue,” Latta said. “This campaign is a top priority for President Cartwright, me and the entire University.”

Latta said the campaign will be completed in phases. “We hope to get off to a quick start and raise $2 million of the overall $5 million goal in the next 18 months,” she said. “The campaign will continue as a multiphase effort that will allow us to raise the additional funds as the economy rebounds.”

Four million dollars appropriated by the state and the University will aid in the renovation of the Ice Arena to upgrade the compressors, chillers and infrastructure. According to Cartwright, additional improvements will be considered based on the Ice Arena's business performance and the interest of private donors in supporting the arena.

“To be successful we’ll need a group effort, from alumni, Falcon supporters and the local community,” Cartwright said. “We hope everyone will be eager participate.”

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(Posted October 08, 2009 )