Robert "Knobby" Knudsen is the founder and president of the "Skate for Kids" program in Windsor, Ont. It raises money to assist the Lions Club with their project of funding a roof at the Lanspeary Park outdoor rink. Donations also are sought to offer kids free one-hour skating every day at the Lanspeary Rink. To date, $35,000 has been collected.
For his actions, Knudsen recently was nominated for the 2010 Bridgestone Mark Messier
Youth Leadership Award.
Additionally, Knudsen has organized a significant collection of new and used hockey equipment to distribute for free to kids who participate in the program. He has given kids who don't have the means a chance not only to participate in hockey, but also to develop the same love for the sport as their peers.
Knudsen has initiated car washes, bingo games and skate-a-thons, and he was instrumental in obtaining government Wintario Grants. He started the annual Coaches Night Banquet, and the Kids Christmas Party (he plays Santa Claus). This event is so successful it also invites Big Brothers and other Christmas charities.
"Knobby" was one of two people to receive the 2005 Sportsman of the Year Award, presented by Sport Fest Windsor, for, "outstanding community involvement." Knudsen has been one of Windsor's elite citizens for over 50 years, and his untiring, energetic commitment to the area's youth and charities has been unheralded.
The Bridgestone Mark Messier
Youth Leadership Award will be presented by Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations to an individual who through his or her actions, life experiences or other activities, has demonstrated leadership characteristics relating to young people mirroring those characteristics for which six-time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier
To nominate a player, coach or volunteer for the 2010 Bridgestone Mark Messier
Youth Leadership Award, please visit www.bridgestonetire.com/messier