The Springfield Falcons are proud to announce that Nick Holden
has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Springfield community during the 2012-13 season.
Holden spearheaded the Falcons’ community-outreach programs this season, devoting his time to various projects in an effort to help others while requesting no publicity or fanfare for his off-ice work.
In his third year with the club, Holden led the Falcons’ most comprehensive community project this season, a partnership with Springfield’s Friends of the Homeless, the largest adult emergency shelter in Western Massachusetts. On Nov. 29, Holden and eight other Falcons players served meals to clients of Friends of the Homeless. Following that day, Holden, along with teammate Andrew Joudrey received a list of items the shelter needed to help fill holiday gift bags for its male clients. Holden and Joudrey shopped for and personally delivered the player-purchased items to the shelter on Dec. 13. These items, including socks, sweatshirts, winter gloves, toiletries, and crossword puzzles, were then distributed by the shelter to its male clients to help them get through the winter months. The team’s contributions to Friends of the Homeless fostered the idea of a white sock drive to benefit the shelter, which was held at the Falcons’ game on Dec. 30. This drive was a success, with Falcons fans answering the call to action by supplementing the players’ donation with more white socks to be delivered to Friends of the Homeless. The partnership between the Falcons and Friends of the Homeless was featured in December on the AHL.com, accessible by clicking here.
In another push to benefit a community organization, Holden helped to establish a partnership with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the largest hunger-relief organization in the region, to set up a food drive at the Falcons’ game on Mar. 3. He led the team’s effort to donate food to the drive. Hundreds of fans donated to the drive, helping to raise a combined 555 pounds of food items.
One of Holden’s other endeavors included leading the team’s Movember effort. The players grew mustaches during the month of November and surpassed their $1,000 fundraising goal, reaching $1,293 in cash donations to raise awareness of male health issues. Holden also participated in a youth hockey practice and a school reading during the 2012-13 season.
Holden is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/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 by the American Hockey League on Apr. 18.