Steve & Sharon Ketchabaw Named Recipients of 2015 Emile Francis Award!
/ New York Rangers
The New York Rangers hosted the Emile Francis Award ceremony on Youth Hockey Night at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers took on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Former New York Ranger coach Emile Francis was very passionate and commited to growing youth hockey in the tri-state area. His efforts directly impacted New York Rangers alumni Brian Mullen and Nick Fotiu who both learned their skills while playing in the Metropolitan Junior Hockey Association, which Francis founded.
This year, the award was presented to Steve and Sharon Ketchabaw, who together have commited over 22 years of their time to youth hockey in the tri-state area. As the current directors of the Rye Rangers youth hockey organization, Steve & Sharon have impacted the players coming up through the program both on and off the ice, including their own children. Their five children have all played with the Rye Rangers, and their youngest son helps coach the junior clinic every Sunday for kids learning how to play. Two of the junior clinic participants are the children of current New York Rangers Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi.
Off the ice, the Ketchabaws have founded and lead the execution of multiple charity initiatives. Hockey Fights Hunger is an annual food drive in January that fills their garage each year with donated food. The program has expanded beyond the Rye Rangers, and has become a community initiative involving other teams that practice out of the same rink. “We have included multiple teams that we play against throughout the season and have united us all against a common rival,” Sharon said of the food drive. In addition to the food drive, the Ketchabaws host an annual holiday dinner for members of the Manhattanville College hockey teams who are unable to travel home due to their game schedule.
When asked how it felt to be the recipients of the Emile Francis Award, Steve said, “To be bestowed this award is absolutely amazing. It’s an honor to be on this trophy. Sharon and I have been very blessed to be a part of the Rye Rangers organization.”