FAIRBANKS — Alaska Nanooks defenseman Kaare Odegard was announced Friday as one of five finalists for the BNY Mellon Humanitarian Award, one of the most prestigious honors in college hockey.
The senior business finance major from Red Deer, Alberta, was a nominee for last year’s award.
His nomination in 2012 and his finalist status this year is mostly based on Odegard co-founding the With All Your Heart campaign to raise funds for the Harry and Sally Porter Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
He worked with co-founder and Nanooks hockey office manager Shawn Head on various fundraising activities during the 2011-12 season.
Their efforts raised nearly $140,000, of which $95,000 was contributed based on team achievements, individual donations and a silent auction. Their work continues this season with hopes of raising more funds to benefit the center that cares for Fairbanks area heart patients.
More information is available at fairbankshospi talfoundation.com/with-all-your-heart.
Odegard also is involved in other volunteer activities in the Fairbanks area. Among them are hockey skills clinics, reading to and playing with elementary school students with the “Nooks for Books” initiative, the Alaska Senior Games, Special Olympics and Hockey Week in Fairbanks, Mush For Kids and Sports Night at the Denali Center.
This year’s Humanitarian Award winner will be announced in a ceremony on April 12 in Pittsburgh as part of the NCAA Division I Frozen Four.
More information about the award and its other finalists is available at www.hockeyhumanitarian.org.
Copper Center native Sarah Carlson was the 2005 Hockey Humanitarian Award winner. Carlson is now a nurse in Boston, where she played defenseman for the Boston College women’s team from 2001-05.
Anchorage’s Rocky Reeves was the first recipient from Alaska to win the award, as the former Buffalo State (N.Y.) forward was the 2002 recipient.
Along with Odegard, three other players with connections to Alaska were Hockey Humanitarian nominees last year — Fairbanks native and former Maine women’s hockey defenseman Ashy Norum; former Fairbanks Ice Dog and Miami (Ohio) goaltender Cody Reichard; and Carlson’s brother, Isaiah, a former left wing for Salve Regina University in Rhode Island.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.