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 Charlottetown Islanders

Hurley, Vaccari, and Kearsey Named Finalists for 2023-24 CHL Humanitarian of the Year

May 21, 2024 - Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Charlottetown Islanders News Release

Ty Hurley of the Kelowna Rockets, Mason Vaccari of the Kingston Frontenacs, and Marcus Kearsey of the Charlottetown Islanders have been named nominees for the CHL Humanitarian of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the CHL player judged to have made the most notable contribution to his community.

The nominees for this prize are based on the recipients of the regional league awards including the OHL's Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, the QMJHL's Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the WHL's Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy.

The recipient of the CHL Humanitarian of the Year Award will be announced and given his trophy at a ceremony for the 2024 CHL Awards on Saturday, June 1, in Saginaw, Michigan. The latter is an event taking place as part of the 2024 Memorial Cup presented by Dow in Saginaw, which is scheduled to run from May 23 - June 2.

Over the years, the CHL Humanitarian of the Year Award has been won by many great players including Simon Gamache (Val-d'Or Foreurs), Jim Vandermeer (Red Deer Rebels), Chris Campoli (Erie Otters), Colin Fraser (Red Deer Rebels), Luke Prokop (Edmonton Oil Kings), and most recently Dalyn Wakely (North Bay Battalion).

WHL Nominee - Ty Hurley (Kelowna Rockets)

2G-8A, 10 PTS, -1 in 49 GP during the 2023-24 season

Ty Hurley of the Kelowna Rockets showed quick thinking that proved to be lifesaving. While on a road trip with the Kelowna Rockets in December 2023, Hurley saw a man struggling in a hotel pool and jumped into action, pulling the man from the water.

As Hurley got the man out of the water, it was apparent he was not breathing. Equipped with education from CPR and lifesaving courses, Hurley began chest compressions. Following an estimated 15 to 20 compressions, the man began breathing on his own, despite having a weak pulse and no colour in his hands.

With the help of teammates, Hurley remained alongside the man to provide support and comfort while an ambulance made its way to the hotel. The man was taken to hospital where he survived. For his actions, Hurley was presented with the Silver Medal of Merit and the M.G. Griffiths Award by the Lifesaving Society, B.C. and Yukon, at the 112th annual Commonwealth Awards for Honour and Rescue.

By being awarded the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy, Hurley became the first Rockets player to ever be named the WHL Humanitarian of the Year.

OHL Nominee - Mason Vaccari (Kingston Frontenacs)

27-27-3-0 record, 3.55 GAA, .880 SV% in 59 GP during the 2023-24 season

Mason Vaccari of the Kingston Frontenacs made a real impact in his community of Kingston that won't soon be forgotten. The 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., raised more than $13,200 for the Pediatric Wing at Kingston Health Sciences Centre through his "Mason's Miracles" initiative this season. Vaccari's efforts also helped galvanize his community and over the summer additional funds are expected to help increase the amount that he has already raised through his initiative.

Heading into the 2023-24 campaign, Vaccari approached the Frontenacs' business operations team with a pitch for a fundraising campaign as he wanted to give back to Kingston, a city that has become his home away from home. It was through this outreach that "Mason's Miracles" was created.

The initiative started with Mason donating $0.50 from his own money for each of the 1,458 saves (4th in the OHL) he would go on to make during the 2023-24 season. It was a figure that would generously be matched by community supporters. From there, the initiative grew and sparked momentum within the city. Members of the Kingston hockey community donated at a link created through throughout the season, further bolstering Vaccari's fundraising efforts.

Mason also held a competition inviting local children to design his goalie mask, with the top three designs voted on by the community. Ultimately, a winning design by 13-year-old Ethan McBride was selected and the pattern was worn proudly by Mason all season long. The mask has recently been put up for auction with all proceeds benefiting "Mason's Miracles".

The Frontenacs goaltender also spent plenty of time forming personal connections with young children in the Pediatric Wing of Kingston Health Sciences Centre, as Vaccari made frequent visits there throughout the season. By winning the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy, Vaccari became only the third Frontenacs player to have won the award, following Andrew Raycroft (1999-00) and David Ling (1994-95).

QMJHL Nominee - Marcus Kearsey (Charlottetown Islanders)

7G-42A, 49 PTS, -12 in 68 GP during the 2023-24 season

Playing in his sophomore season in the QMJHL, Marcus Kearsey of the Charlottetown Islanders was a true leader in his community throughout the 2023-24 campaign. Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of P.E.I., Kearsey launched a new program called "Kearsey's Kids" - it was one of several community initiatives that the 18-year-old from Deer Lake, Nfld., was involved in this season.

Through the "Kearsey's Kids" program, Kearsey hosted a big brother or big sister and their match at the Islanders home games throughout the 2023-24 season. The big brother/sister along with the child were Kearsey's special guests at these contests, where they sat on the bench during warmups, had one-on-one visits with Kearsey, and received a limited edition Kearsey's Kids t-shirt. Ultimately, Kearsey wanted the kids to enjoy themselves when they came to Charlottetown Islanders games and to give back to kids who weren't as fortunate as he was.

Kearsey also represented the Islanders in the "Hockey Gives Blood" campaign, got involved with Charlottetown's Humaine Society Animal Shelter to encourage the adoption of pets, participated in several minor hockey practices and a ball hockey tournament, helped promote the 24Strong dance studio, donated his time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and met with youngsters at Corner Brook Intermediate to talk about combining sports and studies.

By winning this QMJHL's Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2023-24, Kearsey became just the second Islanders player in franchise history to achieve the feat after Brett Budgell did the same in 2021-22.

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Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League Stories from May 21, 2024

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