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UAH alumni try to save hockey program

Former UAH hockey players are fundraising to bring back hockey.

Posted: May 26, 2020 7:23 PM
Updated: May 27, 2020 8:48 AM

UPDATE: As of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, the Go Fund Me has raised $146K.

UAH cancelling its hockey program rocked Charger Nation, and didn't sit well with a group of alumni.

Now, those former players are getting together to bring back hockey.

Growing up in Canada, Sheldon Wolitski, didn't realize hockey existed in Alabama.

"UAH was the only school that gave me a shot," Wolitski said.

The program gave Wolitski more than a national championship ring. Hockey provided him with the "American Dream."

"Started my business 20 years ago, we are a $200 million company, and my best employees are former UAH hockey players," he added.

UAH cancelled hockey Friday because of budget cuts coming from the coronavirus pandemic.

But for Wolitski -- cutting the program means cutting someone else's shot at success.

"We can definitely turn this thing around where it's not putting so much financial strain on the university," Wolitski said.

He says UAH officials told him, $750,000 can bring back Charger Hockey.

A group of former UAH hockey players started a Go Fund Me link, and in less than 24 hours, people have donated more than $105,000.

"If we meet this goal, my promise and commitment to everyone is we're going to change things, there's going to be some major changes involved," Wolitski said.

They have till Friday to hit the mark.

However -- if supporters can get to $500,000, Wolitski will donate $100,000, and he says other alumni will do the same.

"Couple donors can step up to the plate, and yeah I think we can get there." He said.

Wolitski said bringing the program back is about more than success on the ice.
It's about creating a winning culture in Huntsville and impacting student athletes for years to come.

"I want to get back to the days at our national championship game when it was standing room only, that's where we are going to go, if we can make this happen," he added.

Here is the link to the donation page: UAH Hockey Fundraiser

WAAY reached out to UAH, a university spokesperson said they won't comment on the fundraiser till next week.

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