As the Mascot Hall of Fame Museum continues to take shape in Whiting, a long-time banking institution in the Region has announced a major sponsorship. Merrillville-based Centier Bank, which was founded in 1895 in Whiting as the Bank of Whiting, is pledging $250,000 toward the attraction that is slated to open by the end of the year. In addition to entertainment-focused parts of the attraction, it will also feature educational components that officials say will emphasize science, technology, engineering, art and math.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Centier Vice President of Community Relations and Business Development Anthony Contrucci says he expects the museum, combined with other unique offerings in Whiting like the Pierogi Fest and Whoa Zone at Whihala Beach, to draw tourists. "I do believe that tourism is a precursor to economic development," he said. "You need people to come check us out, right, before they decide to even move here, move their business here, open a business here, and really help fuel the economy."
The founding sponsorship, Contrucci says, provides an opportunity to "invest in the future." Contrucci says his own recently-launched division, Community Relations and Business Development, is a reflection of Centier’s focus on helping the community with what it needs by combining its community reinvestment, financial literacy and philanthropy functions under the same roof.
The museum is slated to open in December and is expected to bring over 50,000 visitors to Whiting each year. Mayor Joe Stahura says "the heart of Whiting’s community is all about family, fun, and celebration, and we are excited to feature such a unique attraction so close to the gem that is our Lakefront Park. The Schrage Family & Centier’s commitment to this Mascot Hall of Fame is just another example of the foundation the Schrage family has laid out for Whiting."
Museum officials expect the attraction to have a nearly $241 million economic impact over 20 years. You can connect to more about the museum by clicking here.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Centier Vice President of Community Relations and Business Development Anthony Contrucci says he expects the museum, combined with other unique offerings in Whiting like the Pierogi Fest and Whoa Zone at Whihala Beach, to draw tourists.