WHL Announces Conference Humanitarians of the Year
Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today that Matt Bradley (Regina Pats/Surrey, B.C.) has been named the Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year and Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants/Burnaby, B.C.) has been named the Western Conference Humanitarian of the Year. Each has also been nominated for the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.
The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy will be presented at the 2018 WHL Awards on Wednesday, May 2, in Red Deer, Alta. It is awarded annually to the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year and recognizes a player who has helped enhance the community he plays in.
In May 2001, the Humanitarian of the Year Trophy was named in honour of Doug Wickenheiser, a former Regina Pat, for his contributions on and off the ice.
Eastern Conference – Matt Bradley (Regina Pats)
In addition to being one of the offensive leaders for the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup host Regina Pats, Bradley has gone above and beyond for those in his local Western Hockey League market and the league as a whole.
Acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers before the start of the 2018 WHL regular season, Bradley immediately set out to make a difference in his new hometown of Regina. He pledged $5 of his own money for every point he scored during October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. When he raised $85 from his offensive production, he campaigned further and raised a total of $3,595 overall. This marked Bradley’s second year raising funds for cancer awareness after he raised $565 with the Tigers the season before.
Adjusting to a new community, Bradley took a lead role in the Pats’ outreach, stepped up with the Pats’ Canadian Mental Health Association night at the Brandt Centre. Bradley also set out to make a difference in the lives of children, visiting 15 schools to read to students and promote healthy lifestyles.
Healthy and active living is a core principal of life Bradley has also worked to promote by participating in the Ranch Ehlro Outdoor Hockey League, an initiative through the Ranch Ehlro Society, which provides inner-city youth and families access to a variety of recreational programs, including hockey.
Bradley’s contributions to his local community don’t stop at the city limits of Regina. When he happens to be home in Surrey, B.C., Bradley visits his local school where his mother serves as a Vice Principal and delivers the same message of healthy living and working to achieve one’s dreams.
Western Conference – Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants)
The on-ice contributions of Ty Ronning to the success of the Vancouver Giants has been measured in goals, assists, points, and wins, but when it comes to his contributions off the ice, Ronning’s contributions are measured in the number of smiling faces from young fans.
His desire to spread kindness and do good for others has forever etched the overage forward as a fan and community favourite with the Giants organization.
Ronning has volunteered his time at the Vancouver Giants Hockey School and the team’s Read to Succeed Initiative. Additionally, Ronning spent extra time on the ice at the team’s Family Day skate in an effort to leave a positive impact on his community. In classrooms regularly, Ronning took time out of his schedule to speak with students at Our Lady of Sorrows School and St. Helens Elementary School, discussing the importance of perseverance and strong work ethic.
Ronning’s positive contributions to the community can be exhibited in two cases. Earlier this season, he received a letter from a fan in Burnaby, B.C. Instead of simply writing back, Ronning personally delivered a Giants’ jacket to the young fan’s house.
The New York Rangers prospect also developed a friendship with another Giants fan. As the former high school classmates continued to reconnect, Ronning welcomed the fan as a guest at Giants games throughout the season. The efforts and generosity from Ronning has served to further engrain a love for hockey within this fan.
Ronning’s continued commitment to fans of all ages and his uplifting approach to the surrounding community has established a culture of positivity on and off the ice within the Giants’ organization.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.