Alex Berry Named Norfolk Admirals 2010-11 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man Of The Year
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Norfolk Admirals are proud to announce that Alex Berry has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Hampton Roads community during the 2010-11 season.
Since his arrival in Norfolk, Berry has been an asset to both the Admirals organization and the Hampton Roads community. His first action upon reporting for training camp was to seek out the Community Relations Department and state his willingness to help in any way he could. This season he has demonstrated that his offer was more than mere words. Every time the Community Relations Department asked Berry to participate in a community event, he has not only agreed, but has always inquired when the next opportunity to give back will be.
Berry's natural rapport with children makes an impression on all he comes across. At a Kids Club event, parents repeatedly commented on his ability to relate to the kids; it was abundantly clear that he was having as much fun as they were. A few hours spent at a Norfolk rink instantly made him a favorite with the local youth hockey players. At post-game skates, he is always in the middle of a crowd of children and is the last player to leave the ice. On a recent visit to St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, Berry ‘s enthusiasm and complete ease around the children, many of whom are profoundly disabled, made quite an impression on both the patients and nursing staff. The child he was paired with did not have the ability to speak, yet they formed an instant connection and both spent the entire visit laughing and smiling.
Berry has made several visits to the local hospital, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, where he has spent time in the playroom painting pictures and doing crafts with patients. He has also made personal visits to patients in their rooms. His concern for the children he encountered was not limited to his time at the hospital; he has made the effort to follow up with patients after these visits. In November, the Admirals partnered with the local Roc Solid Foundation to build a playground for a young girl with leukemia. The entire team found the experience incredibly rewarding, but Berry adopted the cause as his own. He has devoted his own time and resources to aid their fundraising efforts, and is excited to do more next season.
Berry’s community efforts are not limited to working with children. As one of only four Americans on the team, he is uniquely positioned to be of service to Hampton Roads’ large military population. This week he will be making a trip to the Hampton Veteran’s Hospital to see both older veterans and individuals from the “Wounded Warrior” program. On his own, he has befriended members of the local police force and SWAT teams and has partnered with them in their charity efforts.
Berry is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2010-11 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 in the coming weeks.