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Aaron Johnson, AHL Man of the Year Finalist

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Syracuse, NY (April 4, 2006) - The Syracuse Crunch are proud to announce that defenseman Aaron Johnson has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Syracuse community during the 2005-06 season.

In his three years in Syracuse, Aaron has won the hearts of all with his contagious positive attitude and endless hours of community service, both in the city of Syracuse and the surrounding communities.

Aaron developed and implemented, at his own cost, his own charity program this season, called the Johnny’s Junior program. The goal of the program is to help bring a smile to the face of area children, allowing them to enjoy a professional hockey game. Through the Johnny’s Juniors program, twenty (20) tickets to each Crunch home game beginning Saturday, January 14 was donated to area non- profit organizations, in addition each child will receive a Crunch puck and autographed 8X10 photo of Aaron Johnson.

Aaron has participated in numerous fundraising events for different charities. He served as a celebrity bartender, raising over $1,500 for the Onondaga Youth Hockey Association and the Central New York Cat Coalition.

Aaron has also become a spokesperson for the organization’s annual charity event that this season took the form of a Carnival, with proceeds to benefit the Crunch Foundation. The team, dressing as carnival attendants, were able to raise over $10,000.

Aaron participates in the “Crunch into Reading� program throughout the CNY Community, visiting local schools, to teach children about the importance of reading.

He also makes appearances at many youth hockey events, including practices and special on-ice clinics.

In recognition of his efforts, Johnson will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.

Johnson is now one of 27 finalists for the AHL’s 2005-06 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced later this month.

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