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The Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign has received support from across the community since it began in 2016. Over 325 individuals, businesses and foundations have made donations to the nonprofit Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB) to help fund the proposed glass enclosure for the 46 year old recreation facility.

Campaign coordinator and FIYB board member Mary Grainger announced that contributions from businesses and foundations have surpassed the $100,000 matching gift challenge by Incodema, Inc.. Sean Whittaker, Incodema's president, encouraged other members of the Ithaca area corporate community to join him improving the arena that has 40,000 visitors each year for non-ice and ice seasonal activities. Many of the 35 corporate supporters to date are recognized with arena dasher board signs visible to arena users and visitors.

With more than $200,000 provided because of the Incodema Initiative last year, the grand total accumulated for the capital project has grown to $480,000, almost half of the $1 million goal. This total includes 280 individuals making donations and funds raised through events since 2016, as well as the City's $100,000 in 2018 budget support and a Tompkins County Tourism Grant of $50,000.

Two upcoming events will benefit the capital project that cannot begin until more funds are raised. On Saturday, November 3, the 3rd annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza features a skate-a-thon, silent auction, broomball competition, food truck meals, and a bake sale.

Many gifts were made in memory of Sam McLafferty, native Ithacan and business leader who coached and played ice hockey and other sports. Gifts are currently being encouraged in honor of Linda McKeown who retired after teaching skating at Cass and at other rinks for 42 years.

Grainger expressed gratitude since "the supporters of the capital project - - to build a glass enclosure and install a system that will control air temperature and humidity - - have shown there is community belief and passion for the proposed facility improvements."

Cass Park is owned by the City of Ithaca and managed by the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB). The FIYB is the independent nonprofit organization coordinating the Cass Campaign. Mayor Svante Myrick recently stated that the City is committed to finishing the Cass Park renovations and supports the community fundraising efforts organized by the FIYB. "By leveraging the energy and fundraising efforts of FIYB with the leadership and resources of the City and potential state funding, I am confident that the shared vision of a more sustainable, efficient and user-friendly Cass Park will become a reality," said Myrick.

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