Fitzpatrick Named Amerks' 2009-10 American Specialty/AHL Man of the YearMarch 25, 2010 - American Hockey League (AHL) Rochester Americans
The 15-year pro is currently in his fifth season with his hometown Amerks. When he is not leading his team on the ice, the Amerks captain can be found actively involved in several community outreach programs in the Greater Rochester Area. Fitzpatrick has affiliated himself with countless charitable fundraisers throughout the season, but perhaps the most significant of them all was when he and the rest of his teammates helped raise a record-breaking $54,000 at the 20th annual Celebrity Waiter Dinner for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Rochester held earlier this month at The Blue Cross Arena.
Fitzpatrick again participated in the fifth season of the Amerks' Reading Power Play program, an educational program that places a heavy emphasis on literacy, the importance of reading and education.
Fitzpatrick and his teammates also stopped by Rochester's local Al Sigl Center and played games with youth and teen cancer patients to help raise funds for cancer awareness and medical research, aimed specifically to benefit Melissa's Living Legacy Fund.
Melissa's Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping teens live with cancer. With the aid of medically accurate, innovative and teen-oriented resources, teens with cancer learn about their disease and treatment, discover effective coping strategies and connect with other teens with the same condition. Melissa's Living Legacy seeks to improve the quality of life for all impacted by adolescent cancer - teens with cancer, their families, friends and health care providers.The Foundation's vision is that all teens with cancer have opportunities for life-affirming experiences throughout each stage of their disease.
He was also extensively involved on his own time with Rochester's local D.A.R.E. program where he served as an ambassador and spoke at schools in his hometown of Irondequoit about the dangers of drug abuse.
Around Christmas time, the players, led by Fitzpatrick, decorated specially hand-made Christmas ornaments as part of the Rochester Americans' Wives and Girlfriends Holiday Ornament Sale and Auction. All proceeds raised went directly to the Knighthawks/Amerks Charitable Foundation, Inc., which were then distributed to local charities of choice.
Later in the season, Rory and his wife, Tracey, and their family, worked with the Amerks Booster Club to sell green carnations on Irish Night to help raise funds for the Irish Children's Program. As part of the fundraiser, the Fitzpatrick family will take in an Irish youngster over the summer as part of a foreign exchange program.
During the summer months, in addition to several weeks in-season, Fitzpatrick serves as a special guest instructor at the Amerks' youth hockey camps. The camp, hosted by Amerks assistant coach Jason Cipolla, gives kids the opportunity to be taught the fundamentals of hockey by some of their favorite Amerks players.
The father of four also spends countless hours at Lakeshore Hockey Arena, where he assists his kids' teams with on-ice instruction.
In recognition of his efforts, Fitzpatrick will be presented with an etched crystal trophy during an on-ice presentation prior to an upcoming Amerks home game.
Fitzpatrick is now one of 29 finalists for the AHL's 2009-10 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall 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.
American Hockey League Stories from March 25, 2010
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- Paul Baier Named Binghamton Senators' 2009-10 American Specialty/AHL Man Of The Year - Binghamton Senators
- Derek Whitmore Named Portland's 2009-10 American Specialty/AHL Man Of The Year - Portland Pirates
- Ty Wishart Named Norfolk Admirals' 2009-10 America Specialty/AHL Man of the Year - Norfolk Admirals
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- Josh Tordjman Named San Antonio Rampage's 2009-10 American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year - San Antonio Rampage
- Guillaume Desbiens Named Manitoba's American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year - Manitoba Moose
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