Fundraising lags for Falmouth girls' hockey locker room

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FALMOUTH — Fundraising for a new girls’ locker room at the Family Ice Center is behind schedule, but organizers are still hopeful enough money will be raised in the next few months to allow the project to begin.

Sam Pierce, past president of the Falmouth Ice Hockey Association and assistant coach of the Falmouth High School girls’ team, said this week that “construction was not intended to start until the summer, so we are still on track if the fundraising goes as planned.”

The project, which includes a full-sized locker room, a coach’s office and year-round storage space for all of Falmouth’s public school hockey teams, is expected to cost about $250,000.

Pierce said the hockey association has raised $91,000 so far, with a groundbreaking planned in July.

He said “there’s been a great community effort” to raise the funds required, but even so, “the funding total is behind our projection at this point (and) we remain optimistic that the goal will be reached, (although) we are behind where we hoped to be at this point.”

Efforts to create the space for girls began in 2016. After some revisions, the current campaign was announced in January. Pierce said more than 175 families have made donations, with many responding to door-to-door visits by members of the Falmouth middle and high school girls’ teams.

Among them are Ranae Roy’s daughters, who have organized several neighborhood canvassing efforts.

“The girls have had such a positive experience doing this,” Roy said, “(especially) because they have rarely come across anyone who felt that this wasn’t something that should be supported. It’s so empowering for the girls to take part in making this happen.”

While individual donations are much appreciated, Pierce said this week, “We are now starting (to approach) the business community and are already seeing not only monetary gifts, but also offers of in-kind donations, (which) will reduce the total amount needed.”

Girls who play hockey for the Falmouth schools now must use the public locker room at the ice center, because a dedicated girls locker room was not included when the center was built nearly 20 years ago.

“With the growth and success of girls’ hockey in our community, it is important to do our best to provide all of our Falmouth hockey players with the facilities they need to be successful,” the hockey association has said in promotional materials advocating for the project.

If there is a delay in adding a girls’ locker room due to a lack of funding, Pierce said the female hockey players would simply continue to use the public locker room next season.

“We have ground to still travel, but are heartened by the community’s support for greater equity and hope that the business community will support this as well,” he added.

Donations can be made online, or checks can be mailed to: Family Ice Center, Girls Locker Room Initiative, 20 Hat Trick Drive, P.O. Box 6127, Falmouth, ME 04105.

Of those who’ve donated to the project already, five families and businesses have combined to bring in the majority of the funds raised: a total of $50,000, according to Pierce. It’s this type of generosity “that has moved the girls’ locker room project from a wishful stage to one where there is real momentum toward completion,” he said.

Among the initial set of donors is the Twombly Family Foundation.

“What stands out about this project to our family,” Dana Twombly said, “is that as original donors who supported Family Ice when it was first built, we have seen first hand what a valuable resource (it) has become in the greater Portland community. We hope that this new space will enable (the center) to do even more in the years ahead.”

Along with the Twombly Family Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Apple Lane Foundation and the Bonnvie and Pierce families “have been instrumental in this project’s current success,” the hockey association said in a recent press release.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

A campaign to build a locker room for girls’ hockey players at Family Ice Center in Falmouth is making slow progress.

The floor plan for a new girls’ locker room at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth. The project is expected to cost about $250,000 and so far fundraising is slow going.