NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The ECHL announced today that defenseman Chaz Reddekopp has been selected as the recipient of the 2022-23 ECHL Community Service Award. Reddekopp becomes the first Stingray to receive this award since it was introduced during the 2010-11 ECHL season.
“Winning this award means the world to me,” said Reddekopp. “Giving back to the community has always been something I have been passionate about since turning pro. It feels good to be a part of the Charleston community and give back to the people who support us so much during the season.”
Reddekopp logged over 40 hours in the Lowcountry community with various causes that hit close to home. One of the main organizations that Reddekopp is involved with is Be A Mentor, an after-school program for low-income children whose parents are unable to afford child care. Reddekopp volunteers twice a month, mentoring and playing floor hockey with kids in the program and has donated over 50 tickets of his allotted tickets this year to the program so that kids can experience a hockey game in person. He has built transformative relationships with many kids at Be A Mentor, but none more so than Hayden.
“Hayden always has a big smile on his face and that is something that makes him such a special kid. I have tried my best to teach him about hockey and get him involved as much as possible. He is always willing to learn, and it is extremely rewarding to see him have so much fun and enjoy the experience.”
Following a game this year, Reddekopp invited Hayden to the ice for a postgame get-together where he gifted Hayden his game-used stick from that contest. Hayden uses that stick around his house to play hockey and will sleep with it at night. Reddekopp organized a fundraiser to purchase Hayden his first pair of skates and hockey equipment, which will expire at 9 p.m. ET this Sunday, April 16th. You can purchase raffle tickets to help Hayden and Chaz by visiting the Dash Auction App.
Reddekopp is a type 1 diabetic, and bringing awareness to the subject is important to him. He has spent a lot of time educating people on type 1 diabetes and worked to create a feature video on how he manages the disease while playing professional hockey. This led to Reddekopp meeting a child, Jett with type 1 diabetes, and bringing an entire support group to a game where they held a meet and greet with Reddekopp following the game.
“Living with type 1 diabetes has its struggles, but I remember as a kid it was important to meet and learn from other people sharing the same situation as you. I take a lot of pride in meeting younger kids who are learning to navigate through life as a type 1 diabetic. I will always take the opportunity to help and teach them whatever I can and to show them that anything is possible, even with type 1 diabetes.”
The other nominees for the 2022-23 ECHL Community Service Award were: Shawn Weller (Adirondack), Aidan Brown (Allen), Ben Masella (Florida), Ben Freeman (Greenville), Nate Pionk (Indy), Parker Gahagen (Jacksonville), Tyler Rockwell (Kalamazoo), Dillon Kelley (Kansas City), Todd Skirving (Newfoundland), Carter Robertson (Rapid City), Garrett McFadden (Reading), Peter Laviolette (Wheeling), Connor Walters (Wichita) and Brent Beaudoin (Worcester).
ECHL Community Service Award Winners2022-23 Chaz Reddekopp, South Carolina Stingrays2021-22 Trevin Kozlowski, Iowa Heartlanders2020-21 Award not presented2019-20 Connor Doherty, Worcester Railers2018-19 James Henry, Adirondack Thunder2017-18 Jeremy Beaudry, Wichita Thunder2016-17 Mike Embach, Fort Wayne Komets2015-16 Rob Florentino, Florida Everblades2014-15 Cal Wild, Brampton Beast2013-14 Dan Eves, Cincinnati Cyclones2012-13 Andy Brandt, Gwinnett Gladiators2011-12 Jason Fredricks, Ontario Reign2010-11 Chris Frank, Elmira Jackals and Dustin Sproat, Cincinnati Cyclones
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