Huntington University will celebrate the first day of the spring semester with a grand opening event for its new ice rink at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26. The public is invited to attend the event.
The new portable ice rink covers the outdoor basketball court in front of the Merillat Complex Fieldhouse and will remain in place during the winter months. The Athletics Office has purchased skates as well as hockey sticks and pucks for student use.
The Fort Wayne Komets are the lead sponsor of the new facility, and representing them at the grand opening event will be Kaleigh Schrock, team captain; Mike Embach, lead scorer; Icy D. Eagle, mascot; and Ian Thornson, game operations/account manager.
“The Komets are proud to partner with HU on this student-led ice rink project and many other productive and engaging opportunities,” said Scott Sproat, executive vice president/co-owner of the Fort Wayne Komet Hockey Club. “Both our desire to support the growth of ice sports and our focus to continually improve our greater Fort Wayne community made this a no-brainer for us. We’re just proud to be a part of the project and look forward to Huntington students gaining a greater appreciation of the joys of hockey and skating outdoors. Many thanks to Huntington University for being exactly the kind of partner that helps us to help the greater Fort Wayne area.”
Junior Tyson Kalischuk, an accounting, business management and economics & finance major from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, presented the idea to Student Senate as an entry in the Think Tank competition in November. His ice rink proposal was voted students’ favorite idea to improve the campus, and he was awarded $700 to help fund the project.
“Growing up in Canada, I frequently went skating and played ice hockey,” Kalischuk said. “One of my personal dreams has been to have a skating rink on the Huntington University campus that is accessible to all students.”
Since winning the Think Tank competition, he has embarked on a fundraising campaign for the remaining resources he needed to purchase and maintain the ice rink. To date, Kalischuk has raised $6,850, $675 more than the projected amount needed to cover the cost of the ice rink, building materials and sporting equipment.
He solicited and received additional funds from student organizations, including the Student Activities Board and Multicultural Activities Council. Various campus offices, including the Student Life Office, also contributed to the project. In addition, Kalischuk successfully sought outside funds from the Fort Wayne Komets, Beacon Credit Union, MacAllister Rentals and an anonymous donor.
“This truly was a student-led, student-executed project,” said Mark Schenkel, HU’s director of community relations and major gifts officer who also serves as a mentor to Kalischuk. “Tyson did all the work of writing proposals and meeting with prospective donors with minimal input. The Advancement Office is very proud of what he’s accomplished.”
The ice rink is open for use to Huntington University students, faculty and staff.
“I believe that this opportunity for students will impact them greatly this winter,” said Kalischuk. “It will provide them with something to do outside in the winter, which will better their HU experience, and will provide many students with a new cultural experience.”