The Ferris State University Hockey Blueline Club is helping to ensure Bulldogs men’s hockey remains among the top teams in the country with a $25,000 commitment to the “Be a Playmaker” endowment campaign.
The $1.5 million endowment campaign has netted $882,000 in private support since it was launched last summer to help sustain the program’s elite status.
“It was important for the Blueline Club to support the ‘Be a Playmaker’ campaign, because our organization already provides financial assistance to areas that will be supported by the endowment, such as travel costs, recruiting and facility upgrades,” said Leah Melichar, president of the hockey team’s booster club. “The goals of the Blueline Club and the ‘Be a Playmaker’ campaign are both the same: to make sure that the Bulldogs are one of the top hockey teams in the nation. Through this donation, all Blueline Club members are contributing to the endowment.”
One of the university’s largest athletics-related fundraising campaigns ever, “Be a Playmaker” is designed to provide adequate resources for recruiting, team travel, strength training and conditioning, performance technology and facility upgrades that will allow the Bulldog Hockey program to compete at the highest level.
“The Blueline Club is an important and very dedicated group of hockey fans and annual donors who have strongly supported the Bulldogs throughout the years,” said Ferris Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. “Their recognition of the importance of the ‘Be a Playmaker’ campaign to the future of our hockey program is vital, and we are very thankful to the Blueline Club for this generous donation in support of Ferris hockey and our campaign.”
The Bulldog men’s hockey program has been a treasured part of the university and West Michigan communities for more than 40 years, bringing national attention to Ferris on numerous occasions.
During the past decade, the Bulldogs have ranked among the nation’s 10 best teams, produced a trio of league regular-season championships, three NCAA Division I regional championship trips, an NCAA Frozen Four Championship berth, three Hobey Baker Award finalists and multiple American Hockey Coaches Association awards since 2003. The program also has produced multiple National Hockey League players.
The program’s success hasn't stopped on the ice. The Bulldogs also have ranked among the nation's 10 best teams in the classroom and the program annually contributes to a wide range of worthwhile charitable and community service projects.
The team is on a quest this season to repeat as WCHA champions and land a berth in the NCAA Division I tournament. Last year, the Bulldogs reached the WCHA Final Five Championship game and came within a single victory of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in three years.
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State Hockey junior defenseman Brandon Anselmini and Blueline Club President Leah Melichar are shown in this photo.