Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference has been named this year’s recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award is presented annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Ference will be honoured at the 2014 NHL Awards Gala, being at the world-famous Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ference's work in the community encompassed a variety of community initiatives, including several projects on behalf of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF). In addition to these endeavours, Ference was involved in many of his own charity initiatives, most notably the November Project, the Hope Mission Shelter and leading the way on a Christmas toy delivery to the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Upon his arrival in Edmonton, Ference wasted no time making his mark on the community, bringing the November Project to Oil Country, a community fitness project that was originally started by two of his friends in Boston. The free program encourages people of all ages and abilities gather in a group once a week to partake in various forms of physical activity at public locations throughout the city. While the project began as a small group, Ference’s persistence never wavered and soon hundreds of people from the community joined the movement.
Soon after assuming a leadership role with the Oilers, Ference brought forth another issue close to his heart, preserving the environment for future generations as a proud supporter if the green movement. Through the EOCF, the Oilers captain reached out to the Edmonton Waste Management Centre and invited grade 3 and 4 students from a local school to join him on a tour of the facility and engaged with the students on being environmentally conscious, as well as educating on how things like recycling can create a positive impact on the environment.
Furthering his dedication to living green, Ference has met with Edmonton’s progressive Mayor, Don Iveson, to discuss how he can work with the City and its initiatives to continue environmental awareness and sustainability. Both Ference and Iveson were on hand to “grasscycle” at City Hall’s Go Bagless campaign this May, encouraging Edmontonians to cut their grass regularly and compost rather than bagging grass clippings.
In addition to his “Go Green” initiatives with the City, Ference was also a guest speaker at the “Zero 2014” conference, hosted in partnership by the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation and the City of Edmonton. The conference is for leaders and innovators focused on driving the transition to a low carbon future.
Creating a better tomorrow for today’s youth is always at the forefront of Ference’s thoughts and actions. In early December, Ference took it upon himself to brighten spirits of the community’s most vulnerable children during the holiday season, leading the entire Oilers roster in an afternoon of shopping for gifts for the patients at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and delivered the gifts with his teammates to the children.
Ference continued his commitment to make Edmonton a better place to live by recognizing another local charity in need, the Hope Mission Shelter. The Hope Mission provides crisis services for those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless in Edmonton including three meals during the day along with overnight shelter for those in need for a safe place to sleep.
He pledged to make a personal donation of $1 per seat at Rexall Place for a total donation of $16,839 to the Hope Mission Shelter, as well as raising another $1,800 to help Edmonton’s homeless get back on their feet.
Upon returning from the Olympic break, the Oilers captain continued his leadership, joining the anti-bullying movement. Ference supported the Pink Shirt Day initiative on February 26th by purchasing pink anti-bullying shirts for all of his teammates to wear after practice.
On the ice, Ference has a reputation for being a dedicated teammate that works hard and never waivers in his effort, commitment or passion for the game. Off the ice, he exemplifies not only the qualities of strong leadership but also those qualities of an exceptional person. His caring, compassionate and inspiring personality puts a smile on the faces of everyone around him and these traits do not go unnoticed in the dressing room or in the eyes of community members throughout our City.
The Edmonton Oilers are extremely thankful for all of Andrew contributions and are proud of his 2014 King Clancy Memorial Trophy achievement.