The Kendallville-based Dekko Foundation has awarded a $2.5 million grant to Trine University in Angola to develop youth sports programs at the new Thunder Ice Arena. The university is using the funding to launch a youth hockey program it says will serve 170 area kids.
Trine says the program will be available to youth from all economic backgrounds. The grant will be used to help provide hockey equipment to participating kids as well as cover some of the construction costs for the arena and Trine’s new MTI Center.
The university says it expects to hire a youth hockey program director "in the very near future" with the program expected to begin in August. Trine is working on the program with community partners, including the YMCA of Steuben County and area schools.
"Community partnerships are always important but they are never more critical than in small communities with limited resources," said Tom Leedy, president of the Dekko Foundation. "Through this partnership, we’re adding more opportunities for young people to participate, lead and find their way in the world."
Plans for both the $8.2 million Thunder Ice Arena and the $13.3 million MTI Center were announced in April, with both projects originally projected to cost around $16 million. The Thunder Ice Arena is expected to be complete this fall while the MTI Center is scheduled to open in January 2018.
Both facilities were approved for Regional Cities Initiative funding in August.