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By Chicago Steel, 03/02/18, 9:45AM CST


“Innovation on Ice” game presented by FONA International includes special Geneva Vikings jerseys to be worn and auctioned off at game benefiting Geneva Academic Foundation

GENEVA, ILLINOIS — This Friday, the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel, 2017 Clark Cup Champions, host Innovation on Ice: A Power Play for Geneva Schools presented by FONA International, when the Steel take on the Omaha Lancers. The 7:05 p.m. game on March 2 at Fox Valley Ice Arena will celebrate education and raise funds to benefit Geneva Schools and the Geneva Academic Foundation.

Over 95 percent of players in the USHL, the nation’s only Tier 1 junior hockey league, receive NCAA Division I student-athlete opportunities. The Steel’s current roster features 17 players committed to 14 different NCAA Division I schools, including Geneva Community High School graduate and 2017 USHL Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year, alternate captain Graham Lillibridge, who is set to become a student athlete at Yale University following his Steel career.

The event was designed to raise money for District 304 through the Geneva Academic Foundation (“GAF”). The Steel will be wearing special “Geneva Vikings” jerseys during the game that will be auctioned off during a silent auction during the 7:05 p.m. contest the Omaha Lancers at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Bidding, to take place at the game, will begin at $75 per jersey. Last season’s event raised more than $4,800 for GAF through ticket sales, jersey auction of uniforms worn during warm-ups that night, and raffle items.

“GAF is once again honored and excited to partner with the Chicago Steel for Innovation on Ice,” said Geneva Academic Foundation President Kimberly Luthin. “This is an event the whole family can enjoy, and we look forward a great night of hockey and fundraising for Geneva 304 teachers and schools. We especially want to thank our sponsor FONA without whom we could not host this event. It is support from community businesses like FONA that help make the efforts of GAF a success. We hope families from all Geneva schools will join us on March 2nd!”

This year’s jerseys feature “GENEVA” diagonally across the front of the jersey with all player nameplates as “VIKINGS” to encourage supporters of the school to not only bid on the game-worn items, but to wear with pride to Geneva Community High School athletic events.

For the second year in a row, FONA International is sponsoring the game and purchased the jerseys to ensure that all proceeds go to GAF. The flavor company, based in Geneva, actively promotes science education in the community through its “Discover FONA” program, teaching students about food and flavor science. Many FONA International employees will be on hand for the special night.

"At FONA we are honored to sponsor the Chicago Steel game to support the Geneva Academic Foundation,” said Joe Slawek, FONA’s Founder and CEO. “Supporting education within our community is an essential focus for us. The GAF is an important part of that. We’re very proud of the work they do."

A limited number of attack preferred tickets are available through the Geneva Academic Foundation for $15 with a pre-game reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in a Steel Suite including light snacks and a cash bar. A portion of those proceeds will benefit GAF.

Friday’s game against the USHL-leading Lancers is also a Meijer Kids Day – kids 12 and under can receive an Attack Preferred ticket, popcorn, Steel light-up wand and post-game autographs, all for just $10.

March 2-4 marks the only three-home-game weekend for the Steel this season. Following Friday’s Innovation on Ice game, the Steel close out a season-long seven-game homestand with Saturday’s College Night against Sioux Falls, and A Day for the Trolls against Youngstown on a Steel Family Sunday. Saturday’s game – scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. faceoff – features $10 tickets for college students with ID. Sunday’s 3:05 p.m. game features a post-game Skate with the Steel, as well as the Steel Family Pack offer — purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas (or waters) and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. The package must be purchased in advance and is not available on the day of the game. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or click here.

Geneva Academic Foundation strives to provide students new educational experiences, ideas, and opportunities by funding grants for technology, services, programs and equipment for teachers, schools and classrooms throughout Geneva Community School District 304, grades K through 12. GAF has awarded over $1,300,000 in grants since its founding in 1987. Grants have been given for GTV television studio equipment in Geneva High School, heart-rate monitors for elementary school physical education classes, multiple classroom Smartboards and standing desks, computers, software, document cameras, Starlab, microscopes, skeletons, books, reading aids, and many other items. In addition, the GAF annually funds two college scholarships for two Geneva High School seniors. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and an essay written by the student. For more information, visit

Founded in 1987, FONA International creates and produces flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, nutritional companies in the world. It offers flavor solutions for the confection, grain, beverage, performance nutrition, and emerging markets from its state-of-the-art, 33-acre campus in Geneva, IL. FONA’s seven core values drive it to pursue excellence and foster incredible partnerships. More than just great flavors – FONA provides complete market solutions.