Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has been nominated for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award.
The award recognizes an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a positive impact on their community through sports. The winner, to be announced at the third annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards presented by ESPN in Los Angeles on July 11, will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts.
Giordano and his wife, Lauren, launched a community program called 5-for-5 in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to provide funding to build five homes in Ethiopia, India, Kenya, the Philippines and the Calgary area. During his three seasons supporting the initiative, Giordano has donated $25,000 per season, with the Calgary Flames Foundation matching his contributions, for a $150,000 donation.
He also helped begin Team Giordano in 2014, which has donated $300,000 to four high-needs Calgary schools to support the purchase of new computers, floor hockey equipment and school supplies, and provide each child with their own "Gio Journal." The program provides students with mentorship opportunities developed and supported by Giordano and his wife. In addition, Team Giordano encourages physical fitness and academics, healthy lifestyles, leadership development, community involvement and positive behavior that leads to academic achievement and success in life. One school reported 88 percent of students who are reading at grade level because of the literacy resources provided by Team Giordano.
Giordano signed with the Flames as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He has 340 points (99 goals, 241 assists) in 673 NHL games, all with the Flames.