Solid Ice Inc. Foundation, a community organization in Big Rapids, has made a $100,000 lead gift to support Ferris State University’s “Be a Playmaker” endowment campaign and ensure the continued success of Bulldog Hockey in NCAA Division I.
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.
“Part of our mission is to support Ferris’ DI hockey program,” said Vicky Deur, president of Solid Ice, which falls under the umbrella of the Mecosta County Community Foundation. “The program needs all of the advantages to remain competitive at the D1 level and be the best it can be.”
Solid Ice was formed in 1992 to help support ice activities in the Big Rapids area and the university’s only NCAA D1 sport. That support has included funds to offset the cost of a 4,560 square-foot locker room for the team as well as an ice-resurfacing machine, video equipment, lighting and sound upgrades, the lobby kiosk and salaries for several positions and interns.
Solid Ice also has made significant donations to other area organizations that use Ewigleben Ice Arena on the Ferris campus, such as the Big Rapids High School hockey team, Ferris Club hockey team, the Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association and the Big Rapids Figure Skating Club.
One of the Ferris’ 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.
“The Solid Ice organization is and has been very supportive of ice sports, ice programming and our ice arena at Ferris for many, many years. The Solid Ice board and its leadership have a tremendous passion for the Bulldogs and what FSU hockey means to this community,” said Ferris Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. “Their significant donation and commitment to the ‘Be a Playmaker’ campaign is helping to secure the future of our hockey program, and we thank Solid Ice for this gift and what it means to our campaign efforts.”
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 State 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 charitable and community service projects.
Support Bulldog hockey and the “Be a Playmaker” campaign
Ferris State University Hockey senior forward Justin Buzzeo and Solid Ice Inc. Foundation President Vicky Deur are shown here in this photo.