Decatur Youth Hockey Association was founded as the Decatur Amateur Hockey Association on 4.27.1965. The Decatur Amateur Hockey Association was made up of four Board of Directors; James Stowell, Ralph Osbakken, Vernon Houchen, and Marjorie Sangster. The first season was played outdoors at Fairview Park in 1966 and had about 30 total players.
By 1979, the Decatur Youth Hockey Association had grown drastically and voted to move all practices and games from the Fairview Park outdoor rink to the Decatur Civic Center where games are still played today.
Tournament of Friends
The Annual Tournament of Friends started in 1991 in memory of DYHA Alumni Geoffrey Geoghegan. Geoff's life was tragically cut short by a fire in a friend's apartment in 1988. The Tournament of Friends continues today to focus on what really matters; celebration of the friendships, the people we share a passion for this great sport with, and to honor those who paved the way ensuring the memories of Geoffrey Geoghegan and our other lost Hockey Family live on.
Chosen from over 18,000 submissions, Decatur’s Civic Center made it to the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Kraft Hockeyville USA Competition. Then the top 4. Then the final 2.
The Decatur community came out in full force to vote the Civic Center to the top and $150,000 toward rink improvements.
We were up against Johnstown, PA’s Cambria County War Memorial Arena – best known for inspiring the famous 1977 hockey movie, Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman.
Decatur Civic Center made it to the final round and came away with $75,000 and a lot of community pride thanks to the hard work of those involved with DYHA and its supporters for building the momentum and the campaign for Decatur!
Decatur Youth Hockey benefited from a 2nd place finish nationally in the Kraft Hockeyville contest. The organization collected $75,000 for much needed repairs and renovations of the hockey facilities at the Decatur Civic Center which opened its doors in 1980.
An extremely generous anonymous donor provided a campaign toward raising an additional $75,000 to bring the total to $150,000. The donor would match donations from the community up to $37,500 for the $75,000 total.
Donations began coming in within minutes of the announcement of the matching program. Retired ADM executive Doug Schmaltz donated $10,000. The local Rotary Club collected $10,000 in pledges from its members during a fundraising lunch and once again our local community rallied together to support DYHA.
Original 1965 Mission: To promote interest in the sport of ice hockey; to recruit, organize, equip and train local youth in the sport of ice hockey, and to direct the activities of amateur ice hockey teams in intrastate and interstate amateur competition.
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