The field for the 2001 Hockey Humanitarian Award has been whittled to a diverse list of five finalists.
The award has been handed out annually since 1996 by the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation. It goes to the college hockey player — men’s or women’s, Division I or III — who has “exhibited a strong commitment to their communities, their teams, and their studies.”
Of the five finalists, there are three men and two women; three Canadians and two Americans; three from the East and two from the West.
The announcement of this year’s winner will be made on Friday, April 6th in Albany, N.Y. as part of the festivities surrounding the Division I Frozen Four.
This year’s finalists are:
Jason Cupp, Nebraska-Omaha captain
Much of Cupp’s efforts have been devoted to the “Scoring for Kids” program. The program, which was his brainchild, is designed to promote cultural diversity in Omaha youth hockey and to give disadvantaged children exposure to ice sports. Through his efforts, he has solicited more than $10,000 from individual foundations and corporations for “Scoring for Kids” program.
Christina Sorbara, Brown
A native of Toronto, Sorbara began her involvement in community activities in 1994 when she distributed food products for the Daily Bread Food Bank and distributed meals for the Meals on Wheels program in her hometown. Her efforts for both groups continued through 1997 when she enrolled at Brown. In addition, she has also worked in Toronto as a summer intern at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (1995-96) and was the Director of the Wheel Smart Spotter Program (1997-98).
Ryan Reinheller, Alaska-Fairbanks
This is the third year he has been one of the five finalists, the only player to be a finalist more than once. For the past seven years, he has traveled to Mexico to help build homes for the homeless. When not on a construction site, he has spent time caring for and playing with the Mexican children. Also, for the past eight years, he has volunteered his time at the Eagles’ Nest Ranch summer camp for kids.
“He touches individuals in positive ways every day,” UAF head coach Guy Gadowsky said of Reinheller. “He is an inspiration to the individuals around him, the coach included, to take an active part in making the Fairbanks community a better place to live.”
Rocky Reeves, Buffalo State
As a redshirt freshman last year, Reeves was the third-leading rookie scorer in the ECAC. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Reeves has volunteered his time for numerous causes including the Carl Carlys Club Cancer fund raiser, the holiday rummage sale for the homeless and Take Back the Night.
Gloria Sonnen, Bowdoin captain
Born in St. Paul, Minn., Sonnen has served as a member of the “Bears and Cubs,” which is Bowdoin’s Big Brother/Big Sister organization. She has also extended her one semester as being a teacher’s aide in order to continue mentoring a classroom of middle school children until she graduates this May. Gloria has taken her volunteerism to her hometown. This past summer she volunteered at a foster home for abused and neglected children in Minnesota while also working as a counselor at a local YMCA.