Cass Park Campaign Media Coverage & Press Releases

Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign Continues

Progress and Fundraising Ongoing for Capital Project

3rd Annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza is November 3

The Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign has received support from across the community since it began in 2016. Over 325 individuals, businesses and foundations have made donations to the nonprofit Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB) to help fund the proposed glass enclosure for the 46 year old recreation facility.

Campaign coordinator and FIYB board member Mary Grainger announced that contributions from businesses and foundations have surpassed the $100,000 matching gift challenge by Incodema, Inc.. Sean Whittaker, Incodema’s president, encouraged other members of the Ithaca area corporate community to join him improving the arena that has 40,000 visitors each year for non-ice and ice seasonal activities. Many of the 35 corporate supporters to date are recognized with arena dasher board signs visible to arena users and visitors.

With more than $200,000 provided because of the Incodema Initiative last year, the grand total accumulated for the capital project has grown to $480,000, almost half of the $1 million goal. This total includes 280 individuals making donations and funds raised through events since 2016, as well as the City’s $100,000 in 2018 budget support and a Tompkins County Tourism Grant of $50,000.

There are two upcoming events to benefit the capital project that cannot begin until more funds are raised. On Saturday, November 3, the 3rd annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza features a skate-a-thon, silent auction, broomball competition, food truck meals, and a bake sale. There are opportunities to get involved now in the planning or at the event. Find out more at . On Tuesday, November 27, FIYB and the Cass Campaign will participate with NYGives Day, also known as Giving Tuesday.

Many gifts were made in memory of Sam McLafferty, native Ithacan and business leader who coached and played ice hockey and other sports. Gifts are currently being encouraged in honor of Linda McKeown who retired after teaching skating at Cass and at other rinks for 42 years.

Grainger expressed gratitude since “the 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 for the proposed facility improvements.”

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

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; Ithaca Youth Hockey Association; CSP Management; CFCU Community Credit Union; M&T Bank; Instant Replay Sports; The State Diner; Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund; Cayuga Landscape; Chemung Canal Trust Company; Ithaca Beer; Therm, Inc.; Fontana Apartments; Swarthout Coaches; Ithaca Coffee Company; BorgWarner Morse Systems; Sciarabba Walker; McPherson Builders; Ball of Energy; Phi Gamma Delta fraternity; Kionix; Mansour Jewelers; Diane’s Downtown Auto; Mahogany Grill; Dr. Frank Piliero; GrassRoots Festival; George McGonigal; Jay Williamson; Illume Projects; and SASquier Consulting.

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 as well as on Facebook as “Cass Park Campaign” and Twitter @CampaignforCass. Gifts of all sizes will be appreciated to the Cass Park Campaign; donations to FIYB, an independent 501c3 corporation, are tax deductible. Pledges of gifts to be paid over three years are also welcomed. Mail can be sent to Cass Park Campaign c/o Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, PO Box 4198, Ithaca, NY 14852.

Enclose Cass Extravaganza is Saturday, November 3

The entire community is invited to participate in the 3rd annual Enclose Cass Extravaganza on Saturday, November 3 at the Cass Park Arena. There will be fun activities for all ages throughout the day-long event hosted by the Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB). The Extravaganza gives everyone a chance to support the Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign that funds upgrades retaining the arena's traditional charm while making it more sustainable and successful.

• Eat the Foood Truck, plus Bake Sale -- Cass Park parking lot 12 noon - 7 pm

• Skate-a-thon -- collect donations per lap or minute (in advance or 11/3) 2:30 – 5:15 pm

• Broomball -- fun games for teams or individuals paying entry fee 5:30 -10 pm

• Silent Auction – Cass Park lobby 3 - 8 pm

All proceeds of the Enclose Cass Extravaganza benefit the Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign.

Eat the Foood Truck meals and snacks can be purchased on site, along with baked goods and beverages, 12:00 noon – 7:00 p.m.

Silent Auction items will be on display in the lobby from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Bidders do not need to be present to win.

Advance registration for Broomball and Skate-a-thon can be done online or using downloadable forms ( ) is encouraged, but not required.


Skate-a-thon participants are encouraged to get donations in advance for each lap or minute they skate starting at 2:30 p.m.


Broomball games for youth and adults will occur 5:30-10:00 p.m. Games between similar age or experience teams will be scheduled in advance for pre-registrants by October 31, and first come, first served for others.

Let us know if you'd like to help! To learn more, go to or The Cass Park Campaign Facebook page. To ask questions or get involved, contact Mary Grainger at or 280-4380.


A community-wide effort to raise funds needed to fully enclose the Cass Park Arena began in 2016 under the auspices of the FIYB, the nonprofit organization that exists to facilitate support for the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB), announced FIYB President Jeff Love and IYB Director Liz Klohmann.

The Cass Park Arena Enclosure Campaign’s goal of $1 million supports upgrades that will retain the arena's traditional charm while making the city-owned and managed facility more sustainable and successful, according to Mary Grainger, FIYB volunteer who is coordinating the fundraising effort. “Cass Park is now a four-season community resource that was first opened in 1972 as an open-air ice rink,” said Grainger, who encourages everyone who has benefited from its almost 45 years of “fun, fitness and friendships” to participate in the campaign.

Cass Park Manager Jim Dalterio oversaw the 2016 roof and ceiling renovation project funded by the City of Ithaca. This important project was needed first for the health and safety of arena users during all seasons, and also is necessary before the glass enclosure can be built.

Dalterio describes how much more efficient operations will be once enclosed, and how he anticipates increased economic impact once Cass Park can extend the ice skating season and improve seating for spectators. While there are many advantages of a functional enclosure, he is committed to maintaining the iconic character and traditional charm.

In 2018, Cass Park Arena is one of few open air rink remaining in upstate New York. The enclosure will provide: dehumidified “conditioned” air; ventilation, insulation, and adaptations for climate change; longer season for ice surface; improved conditions for spectators and skaters; and additional opportunities for rental income year-round. After the enclosure project is funded, there is a vision for an addition to the lobby and new locker rooms.

Information about the capital project and about ways to get involved is available at as well as on Facebook as “Cass Park Campaign” and Twitter @CampaignforCass. Gifts of all sizes will be appreciated to the Cass Park Campaign; donations to FIYB, an independent 501c3 corporation, are tax deductible. Pledges of gifts to be paid over three years are also welcomed. Mail can be sent to Cass Park Campaign c/o Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, PO Box 4198, Ithaca, NY 14852. 

In The Media:

Update Progress is Strong with Enclose Cass Campaign, March 19 Tompkins Weekly

Learn about Steady Progress Underway, March 16 Lansing Star Online

Read the Ithaca Journal's October 17 story, Quest to Enclose Ithaca's Cass Park Continues

Listen to WHCU's interview with Mary Grainger about the Celebrate Cass event. 

Read WHCU's story, Fundraising efforts continue for Cass Park Arena

Read the Lansing Star's August 11 story, Cass Park Campaign Events Announced

Read the Ithaca Journal's August 10 story, CASS PARK: Efforts ramp up to enclose arena

Read the Ithaca Voice's August 10 story, Community continues efforts to enclose Cass Park Arena; fundraisers planned

Read our thank you for the Enclose Cass Extravaganza

Read Tompkins Weekly's October 24th story, Cass Park event to benefit rink enclosure project

Read the Ithaca Journal's October 3rd story, Fundraiser Set for Cass Park Enclosure

Radio interview with Mary Grainger: Listen Here

Cass Park Manager Jim D'Alterio spoke with WHCU Radio in early May: Listen Here

Read the Ithaca Journal's May 2nd story, $1M Campaign for Cass Park Ice Rink Renovations

Read the Lansing Star's May 6 story, $1M Cass Park Campaign Announced


Press Releases:

May, 2016



For more information, please contact

Mary Grainger


Donate to the Cass Park Campaign

Like Cass Park Campaign on Facebook & follow @CampaignforCass on Twitter to keep in touch with the project and the fund drive!