The University of Alabama-Huntsville’s hockey program will continue on after supporters raised more than $535,000 to save it, those fundraising efforts aided by Calgary Flames netminder — and UAH alum — Cam Talbot.
Following news of the university’s plans to end the program due to budgetary concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporters of the program were told they had until Friday evening to raise $500,000 in order to keep the program alive.
A GoFundMe page set up by UAH Hockey Alumni and Supporters wound up raising $537,115, with more than 2,300 donors participating.
“I’m extremely excited that the program will continue on,” Talbot told NHL.com after the news was announced. “Don’t get us wrong, there’s still a lot of work to be done. But this was the first hurdle and we couldn’t be more ecstatic from the support we’ve gotten.”
After university officials said $750,000 would need to be raised for them to reconsider their decision to cut the hockey program, the school received donations of $125,000 apiece from team alumni Sheldon Wolitski and Taso Sofikitis.
The money raised via the GoFundMe page accounted for the rest of the needed private funds, while officials said funds from the university would also be committed to cover the team’s operations for the coming campaign.
“We are thankful from the loyal support that has been demonstrated this week by the fans and alumni of Charger hockey,” university president Darren Dawson via a release.
“We are hopeful that this support will translate into a sustainable funding model that will allow the UAH hockey program to rise again to high levels of success.”