MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs are proud to announce that center Gabe Gauthier has been named the team's winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Manchester community and charitable organizations during the 2006-07 season.
Gauthier has become the spokesman for the Manchester Monarchs in the community during his rookie season. Gauthier takes pride in spreading a good message and spending time with children in the community. He enjoys talking about the Monarchs and bringing fans into his world as a professional athlete.
Gauthier is a huge advocate for the Monarchs Goals For Success program and D.A.R.E. Graduation program. In partnership with D.A.R.E. New Hampshire and the New Hampshire State Police, the Monarchs have a D.A.R.E. Graduation Video that includes members of the Monarchs and a drug-free message for area youth. Monarchs' players, including Gauthier, speak about the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol. Gauthier is able to speak honestly about the dangers and temptations kids face nowadays, and what he faced growing up. He shares his personal experiences of having a family member addicted to drugs and how he was able to learn from the situation. Gauthier conveys the importance of staying focused on your dreams and how saying no has helped him to achieve his goal of being a professional hockey player.
Goals For Success allows kids to interact with players in an educational setting. It is geared toward elementary students and features Monarchs players visiting schools throughout southern New Hampshire to discuss the importance of setting and achieving goals and leading a healthy lifestyle. Gauthier jumps at the opportunity to go to local schools to speak with the children on a more personal level and share his story with them.
Cheryl Abbott, the Monarchs Vice President of Public Affairs, describes Gauthier as "an inspirational role model for our organization. His ability to speak to children of all ages regarding goals for the Monarchs Goals For Success program and his personal experiences of staying drug free is remarkable. He is able to convey the importance of saying no to drugs and living a healthy lifestyle in a way that youth today understand," said Abbott.
In addition to the Monarchs Goals For Success program and the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program, Gauthier has also participated in the Monarchs annual Kids Club Party and Season Ticket Holder Meet & Greets, youth hockey practices, Booster Club meetings and their annual Bowlathon, the Monarchs Care Foundation Golf Invitational, open practices and hospital visits this season.
Along with meeting members of the community, Gauthier speaks with them every Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. when he goes on the air with radio personality Charlie Sherman on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR-AM 610.
"Gauthier enjoys working in the community," said Abbott. "His professionalism and steadfast dedication to youth and society is key to spreading the right message. His enthusiasm and energy is contagious and students are able to take that positive influence into their daily lives."
In recognition of his efforts, Gauthier will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Monarchs game.
Gauthier is now one of 27 finalists for the AHL's 2006-07 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.