COLUMBUS, OHIO - Before tonight's regular-season finale against the Winnipeg Jets, the Columbus Blue Jackets presented team captain Nick Foligno with the club's 2016-17 Community MVP Award which recognizes the player who best exemplifies service, dedication and leadership. This is the second time he has received the award after also earning it in 2014-15. Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and Blue Jackets Vice President of Community Relations Kathryn Dobbs presented Foligno with the award along with a $5,000 donation from the club's foundation to the charity of Nick's choice, The Janis Foligno Foundation, which was established in memory of his mother and her battle with breast cancer.
Last fall, Nick and his wife, Janelle, committed $1 million to Nationwide Children's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital in support of pediatric congenital heart care in honor of their daughter, Milana. The $500,000 gift to Nationwide Children's Hospital was directed to the Center for Cardiovascular Research, which houses the newly named Foligno Family Cardiovascular Research Lab. The $500,000 gift to Boston Children's Hospital establishes funds to support surgical and fetal cardiac research.
In addition to visiting young patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital and joining his teammates on Meals-On-Wheels deliveries to Columbus' older population, Foligno actively supported numerous initiatives tied to the Blue Jackets Foundation. Last spring, he also served as honorary race director for the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon.
The team has recognized a player for outstanding community service since the 2002-03 season. Past winners are: 2002-03 - Tyler Wright; 2003-04 - Luke Richardson; 2005-06 - Manny Malhotra; 2006-07 - Jody Shelley; 2007-08 - Dan Fritsche; 2008-09 - Rick Nash; 2009-10 - R.J. Umberger; 2010-11 - Jared Boll; 2011-12 - Marc Methot; 2012-13 - Derek MacKenzie; 2013-14 - Derek MacKenzie; 2014-15 - Nick Foligno; 2015-16 - David Clarkson.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Saturday when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. Game time from Wells Fargo Center is 12:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show at noon. The game will also be broadcast live on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, 97.1 The Fan FM, and online at BlueJackets.com.