News | 4/2/2014 1:54:12 PM | ROCHESTER AMERICANS

†MacKenzie reads to elementary school students

The Rochester Americans are proud to announce that Matt MacKenzie has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Rochester community during the 2013-14 season.

MacKenzie was among the Amerks’ most active players in the community this season, volunteering his time after practice, at night and on off days to help make a difference.

For the second year in a row, MacKenzie and several other teammates took part in the annual Drive For Miracles Radiothon in February to benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The players answered phones and took donations during a live radio broadcast to help raise money for the hospital. Following their shift on the phones, MacKenzie led his teammates in an unplanned visit to the children’s hospital to see some patients to try to brighten their days.
MacKenzie has also remained active with the Rochester Ice Cats Special Hockey Team, a team of developmentally disabled individuals who compete in games around the state. MacKenzie skated with the team at a practice in January and plans to attend the Friendship Tournament that the Ice Cats will host to show the same support for their team that they have shown the Amerks.

The Amerks Power Play Reading Program, which recently concluded its ninth season, sees players visit libraries throughout Monroe Country to read a book to children and talk about the importance of education and the game of hockey.  MacKenzie kicked off this year’s program with its first appearance back in October, then brought the same program to the Pine Brook Elementary School Book Fair in January. He also visited East Irondequoit Middle School to help launch a new program this year – the Saves For Education Program presented by Citizens Bank. Matt assisted a crew from Citizens Bank in giving an interactive presentation to the school on financial education.

Most recently, MacKenzie paid a visit to Lollypop Farm, the humane society of Rochester, to shoot a public service announcement encouraging pet adoption. It marked the second straight year that he elected to take part in the Lollypop Farm PSA.

MacKenzie is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2013-14 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League later this month.