Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League announced Wednesday at the Year End Awards Ceremony in Calgary that Lethbridge Hurricanes Captain Tyler Wong was named the WHL’s Humanitarian of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Wong, who finished his five year career with the Hurricanes on Sunday, was named the Eastern Conference nominee of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for the third straight season. The 21-year-old was instrumental in many initiatives in the City of Lethbridge lead by his KidSport Lethbridge and Taber program where he donated $5.00 of his own money to the charity. After he and teammates Ryley Lindgren and Carter Folk raised over $6,000 during the 2015-2016 season, Wong recruited Giorgio Estephan and Jordy Bellerive, in addition to Lindgren, for the 2016-2017 campaign where they helped raise over $13,000 for KidSport – surpassing their goal of $10,000.
“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,” said Wong about earning the award for the second straight year.
“It’s always been number one for me to be able to be remembered for more than just a hockey player and more than just a guy that was in Lethbridge to play hockey. 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.”
In addition to the KidSport initiative, Wong was instrumental in spearheading the “Hurricanes Spread Christmas Cheer” program where he and teammates helped deliver food hampers and toy baskets in support of local foodbanks while also visiting senior homes during the holidays. He also went above-and-beyond the call of duty as he also volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in a classroom at Dr. Probe Elementary School, served as an on-ice instructor at various minor hockey team practices during the season and also spent time with the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association where he assisted individuals with mental and physical disabilities through horseback riding.
Wong is only the second WHL player to win the Humanitarian of the Year in back-to-back years joining the Rebels’ Jesse Wallin in 1997 and 1998. It is the fourth year that a Hurricanes player has won the award (Wong 2015-2016), Jason Widmer (1993-1994) and Jamie Pushor (who was the first ever recipient in 1992-93)