Forward Shane Harper has been named the Chicago Wolves’ Dan Snyder Man of the Year in recognition of his enthusiastic commitment to Chicago-area charities and the community throughout the 2014-15 season.
One Wolves player earns this award each season in memory of Snyder, who passed away on Oct. 5, 2003, at the age of 25 after suffering head injuries in a car accident. Snyder spent the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons with the Wolves and helped the team capture the 2002 Calder Cup championship.
Wolves chairman of the board Don Levin, vice chairman Buddy Meyers, general manager Wendell Young, assistant general manager Bill Bentley, and senior advisor/director of hockey operations Gene Ubriaco will present the 26-year-old HARPER with the award Sunday at Allstate Arena shortly before the team’s 4 p.m. regular-season finale against Toronto.
“His spirit is really the same as Dan’s,” said Courtney Mahoney, the Wolves’ senior vice president of operations. “He’s always high-energy. He always has a smile. I’ve never seen Shane, on or off the ice, not giving 100 percent. It’s very reminiscent of Dan Snyder. That’s why, beyond the time and effort he puts in, he was a perfect choice for the award. Shane never does anything halfway.”
The Valencia, Calif., native was an important part of virtually every Wolves community endeavor this season. He visited local libraries as part of the team’s “Read to Succeed” program, which has reached more than 500,000 children over the last 19 years. He was instrumental in the team’s Breast Cancer Awareness efforts that helped nearly 100 women receive mammograms who otherwise couldn’t afford one. His eagerness to wear a different St. Patrick’s Day specialty jersey for three home games in March enabled the team to raise more money to benefit Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago’s Therapeutic School and autism research.
“I wasn’t expecting to be named the Dan Snyder Man of the Year,” HARPER said. “I just enjoy going out and doing things in the community. I love the fans. I love kids. Our events are always a lot of fun and it’s rewarding to me to be a part of them. Whatever I go to, I like to put a lot of effort into it and just be myself and make it comfortable for everyone there.”