Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pegula Ice Arena Lobby: Gone

Not in the literal sense of course, ground hasn't even been broken yet. But forget about it if you want your name hanging there in shiny letters for generations to admire. That privilege now belongs to Paul and Nancy Silvis of State College, who donated $1 million to the Penn State Ice Campaign. The pertinent clippings from the link.
The main lobby of the Pegula Ice Arena will be named after the Paul and Nancy Silvis family. The couple will also co-chair the Penn State Ice Campaign Committee, which will help to raise an additional $10 million to complement the gift from the Pegulas for the ice arena and ice hockey program endowments.
Wasn't the starting number $10 million? Shouldn't it be $9 million now? This is like the time the ice arena was supposed to cost $30 million, then cost $75 million a few years later! Here's Mr. Silvis gratuitously dropping hockey metaphors.
"Nancy and I felt compelled to give to the project because of the important role hockey has played in our lives as well as the opportunities this new facility will bring to the youth of our community," said Paul Silvis. "Joe Battista and I have been discussing strategies to build a new ice facility for many, many years. While the Pegulas' initial gift gets us much closer to the goal, it doesn't quite get the puck in the net. Terry and Kim are looking for assists from others in the community to show their passion for a new ice arena. Through additional gifts from the community we can transform Penn State and the Centre Region into Hockey Valley. It will take a team of passionate players to turn this ice arena into reality."
Where do you get enough money for such a generous donation?
Paul Silvis founded Restek Corporation (Bellefonte, Pa.) in 1985. Restek has grown into an international business manufacturing chromatography columns and supplies that are represented in more than 110 countries...In 2009, Paul Silvis formed SilcoTek, an offshoot of the Restek Corporation. Located in Bellefonte, SilcoTek uses CVD technologies to impart many of the properties of Teflon into steel.
I have no idea what any of that means, which explains in part why I'll never have a lobby of an ice rink named after me. How much for a urinal or two? And what of Mrs. Silvis?
Nancy Silvis is co-owner of the historic Mount Nittany Inn in Centre Hall.
Sweet. Now we just have to get Fight On State, the booster club and Shaner Hotels to chip off a million each and we'll be in great shape! Even the namesake was impressed, saying about three times as much about it as he has about the Buffalo Sabres to this point.
"My wife, Kim, and I, along with the rest of the Penn State Hockey family are thrilled that Paul and Nancy Silvis have stepped forward to be the first major gift after our contribution," said Terry Pegula. "A project of this magnitude can only be accomplished through the efforts and generosity of many dedicated people. Having a family that shares our love for the game involved as we move forward is a major asset. I commend Paul and Nancy on their offer to chair our fundraising committee and hope many more people like Paul and Nancy look to get involved with the hockey program in the future."
In all sincerity, I'd like to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Silvis. Thanks for helping to bring this reality closer, and I hope the view from your lobby is as good as it sounds!

UPDATE: I've just been informed by a guy who knows such things (broadcaster Steve Penstone) that Mrs. Silvis happens to be the mother of Icers forward Kurt Collins. So that explains a lot.

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