Support Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign

Cass is now 48 years old & it's time to build a glass enclosure improving the experience for all! Grand total available funds is rising over $700K

A fundraising campaign for Friends of Ithaca Youth Bureau

Support keeps growing thanks to you and other Cass fans! 

If we can raise another $100,000, the enclosure construction can be scheduled.

Naming Opportunities are still available so individuals, organizations and businesses can be recognized in the arena.

For example, alumnae players, parents and coaches of Tompkins Girls Hockey Association are going to pool their gifts in honor of TGHA's founding in 1972 when Cass was opening. If enough is raised, an arch or doorway or bleacher row will be named for TGHA! Form for TGHA gifts is found here.

Gifts are also encouraged in honor of Linda McKeown who has retired from teaching skating at Cass after 42 years. When making a gift, consider indicating it's a tribute to Linda!

1972 through Today!                  47 years of fun, fitness, friendships 

Imagine the iconic character and traditional charm of our Cass Park Arena with advantages of a beautiful functional enclosure.

Cass Park Arena was built when open air style was more typical, but there’s been an evolution and it is now one of few remaining in upstate New York.

Thanks to the City of Ithaca for the 2010 and 2016 renovations that have kept it operational, and to the many  groups and individuals who pay for their facility use (ranging from hockey teams to beginner skaters to roller derby players and summer campers). In addition, the City has budgeted $100,000 for 2018, and $150,000 for 2020, and a Tompkins County Tourism Grant for $50,000 was awarded to the IYB!

Sean Whittaker of Incodema challenged the business community to support the capital project, by matching corporate gifts dollar for dollar up to $100,000. This goal was accomplished during 2017 and early 2018.

Cass Park Arena is a four-season community resource that needs upgrades to be sustainable and successful. 

Examples of what the enclosure will provide include dehumidified “conditioned” air, ventilation, insulation, adaptations for climate change, longer season for ice surface, and improved conditions for spectators and skaters.  After the enclosure is built,  there is vision for an addition to the lobby and locker rooms.

It’s time for community at large to be supportive of the capital improvements needed for this facility so access can continue for future generations and for today’s users.

Gifts of all sizes will be appreciated to the Cass Park Campaign which is a project of the independent nonprofit organization Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau.  Donations to this 501c3 corporation are tax deductible.

Steady Progress Update!

May 4, 2018

Thanks to 300 Community Supporters of the Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign 

Steady Progress Underway for Capital Project Funding

Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign supporters were hosted by coordinator Mary Grainger at the facility during the final week of the 2017-18 ice season. Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB) Director Liz Klohmann and IYB Recreation Facilities Director Jim Dalterio also attended the gathering at Cass Park.

Grainger expressed great appreciation to the campaign donors who attended; there have been over 260 individuals and families and 31 businesses and organizations making gifts toward the Cass Park Arena Enclosure between summer 2016 and winter 2018. “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 about the proposed facility improvements,” she said.

“If we consider the City of Ithaca's 2018 budget allocation of $100,000, the Tompkins County Tourism grant of $50,000, and the Incodema Inc. business challenge matching gift, the campaign has reached $400,000, not quite halfway to the $1 million goal announced in 2016,” Grainger announced showing a campaign “thermometer” shaped like the arena roof.

Cass Park is owned by the City of Ithaca and managed by the IYB. The Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB) independent nonprofit organization is 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.

“However, the reality is that the two to three-month construction phase will not occur in 2018,” explained Grainger. “It is more likely to be scheduled between the end of ice season in March 2019 and June 2019 for summer camp and non-ice programming.”

The 31 corporate donors have committed $90,000 toward the $100,000 matching gift challenge by Incodema. More than 250 individuals and families have made gifts totaling about $175,000; some have been in response to mailed and online appeals including Giving is Gorges and Giving Tuesday, and others were by participants in the Celebrate Cass! 45th Anniversary Party and two Enclose Cass Extravaganza events. These gifts range from $5.00 to $30,000.00.

Between now and winter 2019, there will be more appeals and more events to give everyone the chance to make charitable contributions toward the $1 million Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign. “Enclose Cass” is participating in Giving is Gorges on June 1, and will benefit from the Ithaca High School Hockey Golf Tournament on August 12. The third annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza will be Saturday, November 3.

Grainger and the FIYB welcome suggestions and feedback; contact her at 607.280.4380 or Information about the capital project and ways to support it can be found at

Campaign supporters are listed on the website. Corporate donors include Incodema; Ithaca Living Solutions; Taughannock Aviation; Legacy Foundation; Cornell University; Triad Foundation; Tompkins Trust Company, Insurance Agencies, Financial Advisors; True Insurance; CSP Management; CFCU Community Credit Union; M&T Bank; Instant Replay Sports; The State Diner; Cayuga Landscape; Chemung Canal Trust Company; Therm, Inc.; Fontana Apartments; Swarthout Coaches; Ithaca Coffee Company; BorgWarner Morse Systems; Sciarabba Walker; McPherson Builders; Ball of Energy; Kionix; Mansour Jewelers; Diane’s Downtown Auto; Mahogany Grill; Dr. Frank Piliero; GrassRoots Festival; George McGonigal; Jay Williamson; Illume Projects; and SASquier Consulting.

Cass Campaign Events in September

July 31, 2017


Two fundraising events are planned for this fall; committee members, event volunteers, event sponsors, and prize donors are needed as well as event participants. On Saturday, September 30, Celebrate Cass!, a festive 45th anniversary party for adults is planned at the Country Club of Ithaca. On Saturday, November 4, the second annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza will feature activities for participants of all ages.


Guests at Celebrate Cass! will enjoy a reception beginning at 6:00 pm followed by dinner and dessert. Music by The Blind Spots and dancing will continue until 11:00 pm.  Many prizes will be offered through Balloon Bursts, Silent Auction and Prize Package Raffle.


Enclose Cass Extravaganza will include a Skate-a-thon, Silent Auction, Bake Sale, Broomball, and Refreshments, all to benefit the enclosure capital project.

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