LETHBRIDGE - Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong is finishing off his five-year long WHL career with a bang.
The 21-year old, who's now surpassed the age limit for the league, was honoured as Humanitarian of the Year for the second year in a row at the WHL Year End Awards Ceremony on Wednesday (May 3) in Calgary. He was also named the Eastern Conference nominee for the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for a third straight season.
Wong will go down in Lethbridge history as the second WHL player ever to win Humanitarian of the Year in back-to-back years. Red Deer Rebel Jesse Wallin was the first to achieve the milestone in 1997 and 1998.
"It's a pretty big honour to be recognized with this award. It feels pretty good, but at the end of the day you don't do community work for an award. I'm just thankful I was able to participate in all the events we did this year and was able to make a difference in the community," he humbly noted in a media release.
Wong was an instrumental part of a number of initiatives. Most noteable was his involvement with KidSport Lethbridge and Taber where he donated $5 to the charity for every goal he scored. He recruited teammates Ryley Lindgren and Carter Folk to raise over $6,000 in the 2015-16 season, and later added Giorgio Estephan and Jordy Bellerive for the 2016-17 campaign, which raised $13,000 for KidSport.
The Hurricanes' Spread Christmas Cheer program was also spearheaded by Wong. He and his fellow teammates delivered food hampers and toy baskets in support of local food banks while also spreading their holiday spirit through senior homes.
Wong even offered his time at Dr. Probe Elementary School as a teacher's assistant, served as an on-ice instructor at a number of minor hockey team practices and assisted individuals with mental and physical disabilities through horseback riding at the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association.
"It's always been number one for me to be able to be remembered for [being] more than just a hockey player," Wong added. "Whenever I had the chance to put a smile on a kids face or go out of my way to do something that would be appreciated in the community, I did it. It's a very big honour for me."
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