MARK VAN GUILDER NAMED MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS 2011-12 IOA/AMERICAN SPECIALTY AHL MAN OF THE YEAR
Milwaukee, WI--The Milwaukee Admirals are proud to announce that Mark Van Guilder has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Milwaukee community during the 2011-12 season.
A fourth-year pro from Burnsville, MN, Van Guilder has won the Admirals Man of the Year Award each of the previous two seasons and each year he continues to find more ways to give back to the Milwaukee community.
As he has been in the past, Van Guilder was instrumental in the success of the Admirals reading program “Reading: The Ultimate Power Play,” as he went to all six Milwaukee Public Schools that participated in the program to read to the kids in their classrooms. In addition, he made numerous other schools visits to talk with kids about the importance of sportsmanship and how success in school helped him reach where he is today.
In addition to the reading and classroom visits, Mark also helped to tutor a student at a local school to help with his reading and writing skills. In addition, Mark also spoke to church groups about his faith and how it affects him as a hockey player.
Mark served as a celebrity waiter for Prevent Blindness of Wisconsin’s annual fundraiser that raises money to help prevent blindness and other severe eye problems in kids and was one of the top tip earners at the Admirals Celebrity Serve which raised over $18,000 for the Power-Play Foundation, which supports non-profits in southeast Wisconsin.
Mark went to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to visit sick kids twice during the season and at Thanksgiving time he helped to deliver turkey dinners to local needy families in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. The University of Notre Dame grad also donated money to help buy presents for underprivileged kids at Christmas time.
Van Guilder 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.