CADILLAC — To help raise money for the Wexford County Civic Arena, a local law firm is giving a challenge to the Cadillac Men’s Hockey Program.

McCurdy, Wotila and Porteous said it will match dollar for dollar any funds raised by the men’s hockey program up to $10,000. Dave McCurdy said the law firm has recognized the Wex as an asset in the community.

“The Wex is an amenity that benefits every age and socioeconomic sector of the Cadillac region. It offers many employers seeking employees, the chance to highlight another important benefit to living and raising a family in the Cadillac region,‘ McCurdy said.

The law firm’s challenge is just one of several attempts to help raise money for the facility.

Recently, Boon Sports Management and the Friends of The Wex started a campaign to raise money to purchase new equipment. BSM also deemed the ice-making equipment as the most critical and immediate need facing the facility. In a press release from Boon Sports Management, it was estimated the cost to replace the ice-making equipment is $150,000.

Last October, the facility’s ice-making equipment failed, and as a result, the Wex lost its ice. The equipment that failed consisted of compressors, pumps, a chiller unit, a cooling tower and piping. Boon Sports Management investigated the technical issues and a temporary fix was found when Boon Sports Management rented a temporary portable ice-making plant to make new ice.

Volunteers were able to take the melting ice out and completely remake a new sheet of ice in 11 days. The cost to rent the needed equipment, however, is $9,500 a month, which is not sustainable.

Funding for this need is Phase 1 of an anticipated two-year effort to raise up to $500,000, through donations, grants and any other available resources, according to the press release.

Other needs include replacing the HVAC systems that date back to the 1970s in the auditorium and 20 years in the ice arena. There also are several areas of the auditorium’s roof that are at the end of their useful life. Finally, the facility’s parking lot is in dire need of repairs, including drainage and resurfacing.

Recently, Rotary Club of Cadillac announced Rotarians voted to use money generated from the annual Rotary auction to help BSM purchase new HVAC equipment. The Rotary auction is scheduled for April 13 and will be held at the Wex. Anyone who would like to donate an auction item can email Warner at traciwarner@ymail.com.

Those interested in helping also can send donations to the Wexford Civic Center Recreation and Facilities Fund established at the Cadillac Area Community Foundation. Checks should be made payable to CACF (Friends of the Wex in the memo), 201 N. Mitchell St., Suite 101, Cadillac, Michigan 49601. The community can also donate via Go Fund Me by visiting www.gofundme.com//friends-of-the-wex.

Cadillac News

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