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NHL Awards Adam Graves for Outstanding Community Service

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Prior to tonight’s Rangers-Sabres game at Madison Square Garden, left wing Adam Graves will be presented with a grant for $25,000 in recognition of capturing the 2000 NHL Foundation Award. In its third year, the award recognizes a NHL player who applies the core values of hockey -- commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community. Accompanying Graves in the pre-game ceremony will be his wife, Violet, Rangers Hall-of-Famer Rod Gilbert, 11-year old Carlos Trinadad from the Family Dynamics Program in Brooklyn, New York and NHL Group Vice-President and Executive Director of the NHL Foundation, Bernadette Mansur.

Adam and Violet Graves will donate the $25,000 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the White Plains Hospital Center for the purchase of an infant bay in the special care nursery. In addition, the Rangers organization and their charitable foundation, NYR SKATE, will match the NHL’s $25,000 contribution for the purchase of a second bay in honor of the Graves family.

"My work with kids and the community is not something that deserves awards and honors,” said Graves. “That said, I am very grateful to the NHL for supporting my charitable efforts with this award. I think as professional athletes and human beings, we all have a responsibility to help others.”

“Adam’s devotion to helping those in need is unparelleled, not only in the hockey world, but in society as a whole. Whatever you need, that’s what he tries to give you. That’s his character,” commented Rangers President and General Manager Neil Smith. “I can’t think of another player in the NHL who is more deserving of this honor.”

Last year, Buffalo’s Rob Ray won the award for his work with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York. The inaugural 1998 NHL Foundation Player Award was given to Kelly Chase of the St. Louis Blues, for his work with Gateway Special Hockey, a program that gives developmentally disabled children and young adults the opportunity to play organized ice hockey.

The NHL Foundation judging panel includes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; former Ranger and New York Islander and current NHL Director of Alumni Relations, Pat Flatley; NHL Group Vice President, Communications, Bernadette Mansur; and former Rangers and current NHL Director of Fan Development, Brian Mullen.

Graves, respected throughout the NHL as an outstanding team player and leader on the ice, has been recognized for his active commitment to charities off the ice, including:

NYR SKATE, a division of Madison Square Garden’s Cheering For Children Foundation, designed to enrich the lives of children in the tri-state area.

Family Dynamics, a New York City child abuse agency that provides support and counseling services to children and parents. Graves has served as honorary chairman since 1993.

Toys for Tots, a program that collects and distributes holiday toys to underprivileged children. Since 1994, Graves has helped to collect over 25,000 toys.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Buddy Program; Since 1998, Graves has been paired with a young boy affected by neuromuscular disease. On many occasions, Graves invites him to be his guest at Rangers home games and frequently calls him at home.

Big Brothers of Windsor and Essex County, Ontario; Graves participates in numerous fundraising events and assists in the recruitment of mentors.

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