DETROIT – A member of the Red Wings family was acknowledged for his off-ice contributions to society Thursday night at the CCHA Awards Show at the Fox Theatre.
Trevor Nill, son of Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill, is this year’s recipient of the Ilitch Humanitarian Award for his work off the ice in the East Lansing, Mich., area.
“We’re very proud of what Trevor has done,” Jim Nill said Thursday afternoon. “What we’re proud of is that he does it in a humble way. It’s not about his own self-glory, he’s just got a soft heart and he helps people out, and as a family we’re very proud of him.”
A junior forward for the Michigan State Spartans, Nill has been very active in community outreach programs since his freshman year on campus. The Spartans’ assistant captain leads his team’s involvement in “Teams for Toys” adopt a local family during the holiday season, and participates in the Spartan Buddies program, visiting the pediatric ward at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital.
Nill, who was a seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 2007 draft, also serves as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and he is vice president of MSU’s Athletes in Action chapter. Plus, he carries a 3.4 grade-point average in the classroom, working toward a degree in mechanical engineering.
“He’s been working in the hospital, going in there and talking to kids who are terminally ill, and he’s really become good friends with a lot of those kids,” Jim Nill said. “He brings them to hockey games; after one of the games we went out for supper, and he brought one of those patients with him, and he had supper with us. He’s been doing that a lot, been involved with the Christmas gifts with adopting a family, he spearheaded that. … He’s got lots on his plate.
“I’m glad he’s focused on that kind of thing, that he finds it a priority.”
Trevor’s hard work has been recognized at the national level, too. He’s one of eight finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, honoring college hockey’s finest citizens.
Jim Nill is proud that his son leads a diverse life, and sees the importance of giving back.
“I’m in the hockey business, Trevor’s playing hockey, but there’s more to life than just that,” Nill said. “I think it’s important that you try to help somebody’s life, try to make something better, that’s what this world is all about. If everybody touched one person’s heart everyday, it’d be a pretty good world to live in. I’m just proud that he thinks that way.”