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Calgary's Kevin Hodgson finalist for 2021 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award

Last Updated Jun 7, 2021 at 11:57 am MDT

(NHL.com Media Relations)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — A familiar face in Calgary’s sports community is nominated for the National Hockey League’s Willie O’Ree Award.

Kevin Hodgson is the executive director of HEROS (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society), empowering at-risk youth, along with SuperHEROS, which provides boys and girls living with physical and cognitive challenges with a safe and inclusive environment as well as an adapted on-ice curriculum.

The volunteer-driven nonprofit operates 28 programs in a dozen cities across the country.

Many of those taking part in HEROS are new Canadians, and one in three are girls.

The Willie O’Ree Award is given to “an individual who – through the sport of hockey – has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society.”

Over the span of two decades, over 10,000 boys and girls have come through the program.

One of the focuses of HEROS is the mentor relationships between dedicated volunteers and the participants, along with peer mentoring of older participants with their younger counterparts.

“The Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award recognizes leaders who maximize hockey’s ability to build healthy, vibrant, and inclusive communities that positively impact players, families, and society,” Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs, explained.

The winner will be determined by fan vote, and you can vote for Kevin here.

Calgarians are no stranger with the award, with Dampy Brar taking the honour last year for his work with Apna Hockey, which supports South Asian and other ethnic players.