Service Technician Cody Fiske quickly saw the advantages of a new youth and sports facility in Prescott Valley when his 15-year-old son’s hockey coach brought up the idea.
The only place to for his son to practice locally was at an outdoor park, meaning the Fiske family has had to travel to Flagstaff and other locations for indoor play.
So, the Fiske family got involved as volunteers and members of the Wheelhouse Center. This spring, Fiske arranged for UniSource to make a contribution to Wheelhouse as part of our support of employees’ volunteerism, as well as our philanthropic focus on community assistance.
The Wheelhouse Center, which opened in June, plans to use the UniSource donation to seed a scholarship fund for local children so that “no one is left out because of financial restraints,” said Charlie Arnold, Wheelhouse board president.
With the funds, children will be able to attend after-school activities and join sports teams. In addition, Wheelhouse is purchasing LED lights to reduce energy costs.
“UniSource has been a longtime part of our community and their willingness to prioritize kids and families is showcased by their support of the Wheelhouse nonprofit mission,” said Arnold said.
The idea of Wheelhouse started on the back of a napkin as Arnold and co-founder Tracey Gossen sat under a popup tent at a hockey tournament in Yuma.
The coach and assistant coach originally envisioned a place for hockey, but it quickly morphed into a concept for a multisport center. “We identified the opportunities that kids were either having to travel out of town for or were underserved in the community,” Arnold said.
Organizers turned to the community to get the 60,000-foot building open. Fiske and his family were among those who helped volunteer by unpacking shipping containers for supplies at the facility. Fifteen-year-old Hayden Fiske, a hockey team captain, was there to help cut the ribbon.
“This place means more hockey time for him. It’s indoors, so they get to play year-round when it’s raining,” said Cody Fiske, whose two other children also plan to be involved at Wheelhouse. “It’s definitely going to provide more opportunities for a smaller area and a lot of different sports at one place.”
Wheelhouse is continuing construction, adding activities and starting leagues this month. Eventually, Wheelhouse plans to run about 14 sports, as well as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. As of late July, Wheelhouse already had 300 members.
“We’re so appreciative of the relationship that we have with UniSource as a high-profile company that provides our energy needs and helps us grow in a positive way,” said Jimmy Savoini, Wheelhouse’s Director of Operations. “That relationship is critical to our success moving forward. To say we have strong relationship with Unisource lends more credibility to what we do.”
This story is part of our ongoing series highlighting UniSource’s philanthropic focus areas. UniSource works with nonprofit partners to develop invitation-based donation requests for community assistance efforts. Funds come from corporate resources, not customers’ rates. Learn more about our donations.