Jan. 22, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame hockey defenseman Dan VeNard (Sr., Vernon Hills, Ill.) has been selected as one of 22 nominees on the national level for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented by BNY Mellon Wealth Management. The award is presented every year to college hockey's finest citizen for their contributions to society in all areas.
This is the 13th year for the Hockey Humanitarian Award that will be presented in conjunction with the NCAA Skills Competition and the Hobey Baker Award on Friday, April 11, in Denver, Colo., at the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four.
VeNard is in his fourth season at Notre Dame and serves as one of the team's three alternate captains. The veteran defenseman is in the midst of a career season on the ice as he has played in 28 games with career highs in goals (5) and points (8) while being +2 for the year. Two of his goals have come on the power play and two are game winners. For the past two seasons, the former Green Bay Gambler has overseen the Notre Dame hockey team's community service projects and as a senior this year, VeNard was elected president of Notre Dame's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the first time an Irish hockey player has served in that role.
Over the course of his four years at Notre Dame, VeNard has been heavily involved in the Notre Dame athletics community service programs, taking over supervision at the end of his sophomore year. Among his community service efforts, the 22-year old history and political science major has included participating for four years in the team's annual Buddy Walk for kids with Downs Syndrome. VeNard has been a three-year participant in the athletic department's annual Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Christmas Party with Memorial Hospital for children fighting cancer.
This past summer, VeNard worked with the Irish Youth Hockey League (IYHL) doing a clinic, teaching drills and working with the young players. This season he's worked with Notre Dame's Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), spending time with children 2-3 years of age. His involvement started as a few hours per week and will grow during the spring semester. During the fall, VeNard and his teammates raised money for the victims of a tornado that hit Nappanee, Ind., a town south of South Bend on October 18. The money the team contributed was used to buy food and water for the victims in the weeks after the event. He has also been an integral part of the team's annual "Skate Day," at the Joyce Center with under-privileged kids from the local community.
Joining VeNard on the list of 22 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award are: Ryan Adler (Hobart College), William Bruce (Williams College), Ethan Cox (Colgate), Jeff DeFrancesca (Wisconsin - Stout), Adam Dekker (Utica College), Missy Elumba (Northeastern), Mike Forgie (Wayne State), Jody Heywood (Ohio State), Trevor Hyatt (Alaska), Ashley King (Wayne State), Marty Mjellei (St. Cloud State), Caralyn Quan (Williams College), Trudy Reyns (Quinnipiac), Bobbi Ross (Minnesota), Billy Ryan (Maine), Cal St. Denis (Holy Cross), Topher Scott (Cornell), Courtney Sekevitch (St. Thomas), Jason Usher (Wisconsin - River Falls), Laura Vannelli (Gustavus Adophus) and Dagney Willey (Minnesota).
Finalists for the award will be announced on the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation website at www.hockeyhumanitarian.org on January 28. More information on the history of the award, the 2008 schedule of events and a list of past nominees, finalists and recipients can be found at http://www.hockeyhumanitarian.org