SAN ANTONIO (Mar. 28, 2008) – The San Antonio Rampage are proud to announce that defenseman Bryan Helmer has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the San Antonio community during the 2007-08 season.
“The Rampage are a classy group, led by a class act captain in Bryan,” head coach Greg Ireland said.
Captaining the Rampage for the second straight season, Helmer has been instrumental in giving back to the community. Since joining the Rampage in July, 2006, he carried over his “Helmer’s Heroes” program where he purchases six season tickets for donation to deserving South Texas Children and then invites them into the locker room with their families after the game. At the end of the visit, Helmer gives each family member a Rampage item.
The 15-year veteran helped feed close to 25,000 homeless and elderly individuals at the 28th Annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and delivered toys before Christmas at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital.
Helmer, who became the 28th player in AHL history to reach 800 games last November, spearheaded the team’s “New Home, New Year” big give. The Rampage teamed up with Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) to present a local, single mother with a $5,000 check, primarily coming from the players’ pockets, to go toward the down payment on a home in north-central San Antonio.
“To put a smile on her face with something like this is pretty special for all of us,” Helmer said.
In recognition of his efforts, Helmer will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Rampage home game.
Helmer is now one of 29 finalists for the AHL’s 2007-08 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 by the AHL in the coming weeks.