This year’s five BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award finalists all have unique stories to tell and come from four different conferences, including a pair of players from the CCHA.
All five players have contributed significantly through off-ice causes and foundations, some even created from scratch.
Western Michigan senior forward Brett Beebe established his own foundation called “Long Hair Don’t Care” in honor of his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during his sophomore year and passed away in the summer of 2012. Working with and through the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Beebe has raised over $25,000 and with 13 of his WMU teammates, grew his hair out to provide wigs for cancer-stricken individuals. Also last summer, Beebe and three teammates spent over 50 hours renovating a home in one of Kalamazoo’s poorest neighborhoods.
J. Tucker Mullin, a senior forward at St. Anselm College and three-time Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist, is the co-founder and executive director of the Thomas E. Smith Fight to Cure Paralysis Foundation. Mullin is also an on-campus ambassador for Team IMPACT, a New England-based non-profit serving kids facing life-threatening diseases.
Alaska senior blueliner Kaare Odegard, another repeat Hockey Humanitarian Award nominee, co-founded the “With All Your Heart” hospital campaign to raise funds for the Harry & Sally Porter Heart Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Last year’s season effort raised close to $140,000 ($95,000 of which was contributed based on team achievements, individual donations and a silent auction). They have continued their effort this season with the hopes of generating more funds to benefit the hospital that cares for Fairbanks-area heart patients.Along with his Nanooks’ teammates, Kaare also volunteers several hours a month for various events, activities and causes in the Fairbanks community, including “Nooks for Books,” the Alaska Senior Games, Special Olympics, Hockey Week in Fairbanks, Mush for Kids and Skate With The Nanooks.
Junior defenseman Jeffrey Reppucci from Holy Cross is the founder and president of “Students Helping Children Across Borders,” which helps to provide recreational and educational opportunities to underprivileged children around the world. Reppucci also founded “Playing For Peace,” a $25,000 community building project in rural Russia focusing on promoting community wellness for children. He has also founded a third organization, “Working for Worcester,” a city-wide project designed to promote city pride and ownership.
Yale women’s forward and captain Alyssa Zupon started a variety of community service initiatives during her time at Yale, including “Hope for Tomorrow” for earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. She co-founded the “Bulldog PAWS” (Pediatric Alliance with Student-Athletes) at Yale that pairs pediatric patients from Yale-New Haven Hospital with Yale athletic teams to serve as a support group and is also currently researching the genetic causes of brain tumors as part of a molecular, cellular and developmental biology BS-intensive degree.
This year’s winner will be announced on April 12 in Pittsburgh as part of the Frozen Four.