The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation announced the five finalists for the 2023 Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented annually to college hockey’s “finest citizen” for leadership in community service.
Jacob Adkins (Centennial, Col.) and Andrew Walker (Mason, Mich.), Senior Forwards, UMass Boston
Jake Adkins and Andy Walker, aka “The Men in Blades,” have been a staple in the UMass Boston community for the last three years as they raise funds for cancer research for the American Cancer Society (ACS). A standout initial fundraiser involved them rollerblading from Massachusetts to Michigan in 2020. Jake and Andy subsequently organized the first annual Race II a Cure 5K this past fall and two Hockey Fights Cancer Nights (during the latter, toys were also collected for pediatric cancer patients at Massachusetts General Hospital). This year, a Chuck-A-Puck contest after the game helped raise additional funds. To date, these three-time HHA finalists have raised over $50,000 for ACS.
Ryan Herpy (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Senior, Defense, Albertus Magnus
Herpy began his community leadership journey with the Falcons in 2019 when the team created a toy drive for Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital to ensure children who were receiving treatment had gifts during the holiday season. In 2020, Herpy and the Falcons started a Thanksgiving food drive to support local families impacted by the pandemic. During 2021, Herpy gathered his teammates to volunteer their time with FISH of Greater New Haven, packing groceries for those experiencing hardship and food insecurity. This season, he was instrumental in the establishment of a charity game for the Wounded Warrior Project. With the game and an accompanying auction, the men’s ice hockey team raised over $12,000 for Wounded Warrior Project and created the groundwork for future charity games. In addition to his volunteer work, Herpy is a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) and an Executive Board Member of the Honors Program. As a member of SGA, he has volunteered locally with various clean-up days around the college and at other school events.
Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes, Minn.) Graduate Student, Forward, Minnesota Duluth
Hughes, a two-time finalist, is an integral part of the Sophie’s Squad organization, a non-profit that she helped co-found to support mental health awareness. To date, the charity has raised nearly $278,000 for mental health resources and advocacy. Since its creation, Sophie’s Squad has hosted 39 events, including its first-ever DI women’s and men’s double header “Hockey Hits Back” event in December 2022. Gabbie has participated in every single Squad event either in person or via recording or social media posting. She is passionate about speaking to teenagers, using her own story of mental health struggles to encourage kids of all ages to talk about theirs, too. Gabbie’s activism has helped change the narrative about mental health awareness with teens and young adults.
Hannah Price (Pittsburgh, Pa.) Senior, Defense, Rensselaer
Price serves as RPI’s SAAC President for 2022-23, creating such initiatives as Fresh Check Mental Health Days, blood drives, Troy School 2 Reading Program and Special Olympics Basketball. She is also the RPI Food Recovery Network President, helping to save thousands of pounds of food from RPI’s dining halls for donation to a local food pantry for redistribution to the needy. And Price is her team’s Team Community Service Coordinator. She helped the team forge a partnership with Hope 7 Food Pantry & After School Program. Hannah has coordinated Skate with the Engineers and developed a new partnership with Clifton Park Youth Hockey. Finally, Hannah volunteers with Troy Street Soldiers and Catholic Charities Mass Food Distribution. She currently has an internship at the State Attorney’s Office in the Environmental Protection Bureau. She is also a two-time finalist for this award.
Will Rosen (Washington, D.C.) Freshman, Forward, Saint Anselm
Rosen founded a non-profit apparel company in 2021 named Every Shift Hockey™. The company aims to generate support for Washington’s Fort Dupont Ice Arena, the USA Hockey Membership Relief Fund, and those who are less fortunate in the ice hockey community. Rosen has been able to donate $10,000 through Every Shift Hockey ™ to the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Half of the donation went to weekly Saturday programming at the rink called “Kids on Ice,” USA Hockey registrations, and new hockey equipment. Every Shift Hockey™ introduces children to all aspects of skating, including ice hockey, synchronized skating, figure skating and speed skating. The arena program impacts 3,500 children annually. The remainder of the donation was targeted to a new electric Zamboni and to arena upgrades.
Josh Kosack from Union College was honored as the 2022 recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award.
The 28th recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award will be honored in a ceremony on Friday, April 7 as part of the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four weekend in Tampa, Fla. Additionally, the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation will make a donation to the charity most important to each of the five finalists. These donations are made possible with the generous support of the award’s partners and donors.