Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference is this year's recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community."
In his first season with the Oilers, Ference was named team captain and immediately made a mark in his new -- and hometown -- community.
Ference brought with him the November Project, an initiative started by two of his friends in Boston as a way for the former NCAA Division 1 rowers to stay in shape during the winter months. The free program encourages people of all ages and abilities to participate in various forms of physical activity in public locations throughout the city. Buoyed by Ference's efforts, the program experienced rapid growth shortly after its introduction.
A proud supporter of the green movement, Ference continued his advocacy for preserving the environment for future generations. He reached out to the Edmonton Waste Management Centre and invited Grade 3 and 4 students from a local elementary school to join him on a tour of the facility. He engaged the students in conversations about being environmentally conscious and how the modest act of recycling can create a large impact worldwide.
Ference acts as an ambassador for the Green Sport Alliance, a non-profit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance, and has met with civic leaders to discuss environmental awareness and sustainability.
As captain, Ference had a prominent role at team community appearances throughout the season, including holiday visits to Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital and Inner City High School. He added his voice to the anti-bullying movement by supporting the Pink Shirt Day initiative and donated $1 for every seat at Rexall Place -- a total of $16,839 -- to Hope Mission, which provides crisis services for those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
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