PRINCETON, NJ (April 6th) - Wichita's Jeremy Beaudry has been selected as the recipient of the 2017-18 ECHL Community Service Award.
Beaudry becomes the first Thunder player to win the award and the first Thunder player since RG Flath to be honored for a Community-related league honor.
Each ECHL team was given the opportunity to nominate a player for their efforts supporting community and charitable causes during the 2017-18 season. The nominations were voted on by League Office personnel.
"As a hockey player, feeling that the fans and the city are supporting the team is really important," commented Beaudry. "We are very lucky in Wichita because we have great fans that support us all season long at home and on the road. This is the reason why it's really important to me to take time to give back to the community during the season. It's my way of making them feel that we appreciate having them behind us every game. I think the Thunder organization did a great job giving us opportunities to spend times with fans, veterans, kids in hospitals throughout the season. That's how a team can create real connections with the community."
Beaudry attended more than 20 community appearances for the Thunder during the 2017-18 season. He took the lead in helping the Thunder make a difference in the Wichita community this season, and thanks to the efforts of Beaudry and his teammates, there has been increased community support of the Thunder in Central Kansas. The team saw record setting game attendance, sell out nights, event attendance, as well as an extended support system and involvement from organizations and schools in the Wichita Area and some from more than 4 hours away.
Among the events Beaudry participated in during the 2017-18 season were non-profit events and fundraising, animal shelter volunteering, elementary school visits, hospital visits, retirement home visits, junior/youth hockey volunteering and non-profit post-game meet and greets.
In addition to attending appearances, Jeremy made sure to involve fans on game nights as well as out and about in Wichita. As one of the most recognizable players on the Thunder roster, Beaudry made significant impact on Thunder fans who spotted him around town, greeting fans by name with a hug and hello. He also paired with Coach Cameron as the point person between the locker room and front office regarding upcoming events and opportunities for Thunder players.
He got the season started by attending the team's first community event at Caldwell Elementary School in October. There, he read to a class of hearing-impaired students at the USD 259 Elementary School. Beaudry spent several evenings at the Wichita Ice Center helping the Wichita Thunder Youth Hockey organization and Junior Thunder teams as a special guest coach.
Jeremy was honored in front of more than 13,000 fans on March 30th as the Wichita Thunder Community Service Award winner, and Most Improved Player Award winner. It was easy to recognize fan approval at the game as INTRUST Bank Arena roared with praise as the rookie defenseman took the ice during the award ceremony.
The other nominees for the 2017-18 ECHL Community Service Award were: James Henry (Adirondack), Joel Chouinard (Allen), Taylor Stefishen (Atlanta), Andrew D'Agostino (Brampton), Steven Lorentz (Florida), Cody Sol (Fort Wayne), Brenden Kotyk (Greenville), Shane Hanna (Idaho), Jack Burton (Indy), Aaron Irving (Kalamazoo), Tyler Elbrecht (Kansas City), Riley Weselowski (Rapid City), Kelly Zajac (South Carolina), Simon Denis (Toledo), Adam Pleskach (Tulsa), Travis Howe (Utah), Zach Tolkinen (Wheeling) and Frankie DiChiara (Worcester).
ECHL Community Service Award Winners2017-18 Jeremy Beaudry Wichita Thunder2016-17 Mike Embach Fort Wayne Komets2015-16 Rob Florentino Florida Everblades2014-15 Cal Wild Brampton Beast2013-14 Dan Eves Cincinnati Cyclones2012-13 Andy Brandt Gwinnett Gladiators2011-12 Jason Fredricks Ontario Reign2010-11 Chris Frank Elmira Jackals Dustin Sproat Cincinnati Cyclones
The Thunder closes the season with a pair of games in Colorado against the Eagles starting Friday at 8:05 p.m. CST.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 campaign are on sale now. Get your seats for just $15 per month. All it takes is a $1 down per seat to reserve yours today. To learn more, click here or contact a Thunder representative at the office today!
Follow along with us on our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@wichita_thunder), Snapchat (wichthunder), Instagram (Wichita_Thunder) and LinkedIn.