Ray Peterson Fund awards grants

Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation (DHSCF) Chair Patrick Francisco announced today that grants have been awarded from the Ray Peterson Fund (Fund) to three local youth organizations to help fund their programs to assist financially challenged youth wishing to participate in sports activities.

The Duluth Amateur Hockey Association (DAHA) received a $2,000 grant to be used to bolster its Hank Jensen Fund, the Boys & Girls Club of the Northland received a $1,950 grant to fund 10 scholarships for the Duluth Heritage Sports Summer Camp and the Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association (AYSA) received $1,000 to help sustain its scholarship program to fund both fees and equipment for youth in need of financial assistance.

The grants were awarded based upon the applications submitted by these organizations, with their recognition that the funds be restricted for use in a manner that befits the Fund’s mission.

“We’re both pleased and proud that we’ve been able to make these awards to these deserving organizations,” said Francisco. “Ray Peterson strongly believed that participation in sports was a positive way for a young person to burn off pent-up energy and he wanted any kid who wanted to play to have that chance, regardless of their financial ability.”

Peterson was an icon within the annals of Duluth’s rich hockey heritage. As the Director of Activities for Wheeler Field, he launched some of Duluth’s earliest hockey programs, including the first Duluth Denfeld high school team. But he was best known as a person who truly cared about youth and gave freely of his time and limited resources so that those most in need could participate in athletics.

The Ray Peterson Fund was launched in 2010, when a group of Ray’s former players, led by Duluthians Russell and Anne Strom, bestowed a very generous gift in Ray’s memory, with the request that the funds be used to continue the work that Ray started more than 70 years ago…assisting financially challenged youth who wish to participate in athletic activities or pursue an education in vocational training.

“It’s an honor to have been entrusted to keep Ray’s spirit alive in this manner,” said Francisco. “He’d be very pleased to know that his desire to help kids continues, thanks to those whom he helped through their giving back to help others”