In his fourth season with the Griffins, forward Francis Pare has 14 goals and 28 assists in 68 AHL games. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Griffins are proud to announce that Francis Pare has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Grand Rapids community during the 2011-12 season.
A native of Lemoyne, Quebec, Pare has always been an active and unselfish participant in the Griffins’ community relations efforts during his four seasons as a member of the team. This season, Pare was a regular volunteer at local youth hockey practices as part of the Growing with the Griffins program and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, going beyond the call of duty with several trips on his own time.
Pare, 24, was also at the forefront of numerous full-team charitable activities, walking dogs at the Pups and Pucks Fall Walk-a-Thon (Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary), serving beverages at Reds, Whites and Brews (Easter Seals), packing lunches at Kids’ Food Basket, appearing at a local Marathon / J&H Family Store location for the annual pumping gas fundraiser (Kids’ Food Basket), skating with fans for hours at the Great Skate Winterfest and even suiting up in goalie equipment for the Griffins versus Sled Wings sled hockey game. The 24-year-old forward was also a staple in post-game events, including open skates and autograph sessions.
In recognition of his efforts, Pare will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Griffins’ home game. In addition, Pare will receive $500 as the winner of the Griffins’ community player of the year awarded, sponsored locally by Centennial Securities and Dean Foods.
Pare is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2011-12 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League in the coming weeks.