Fort Wayne’s Mike Embach has been selected as the recipient of the 2016-17 ECHL Community Service Award.
Each ECHL team was given the opportunity to nominate a player for their efforts in community and charitable causes during the 2016-17 season. The nominations were voted on by League Office personnel.
Embach attended over 20 Komets’ community appearances during the 2016-17 season. As an active member of “Hockey Players 4 Kids,” he strives to teach children the importance of reading and working hard in school.
In addition to attending appearances, Embach also helps to coordinate with the rest of the team to make sure they are getting involved in the community as well. After re-signing with the Komets last summer, he made a special trip back to Fort Wayne to participate in the 3Rivers Parade and mingled with fans in the crowd.
Since joining the Komets four seasons ago, Embach has helped start an annual “Komets Visit” to Lutheran Children’s Hospital around Christmas. This year, instead of handing out stuffed animals, he and head coach Gary Graham planned a day for the all players to go shopping and select gifts for the children. After visiting the children’s hospital, the team visited Vincent Village to deliver gifts to children that are homeless. After surprising the kids with presents, Embach and the team stayed to have tea parties and play games.
Embach also volunteers time as a youth hockey coach at Parkview Ice House. He currently coaches one to two nights per week, teaching power skating, stick handling and skills and battle camps.
He has received the “True Komet Award" in the previous two seasons, an award which is presented to the player who exemplifies team spirit and a positive attitude on and off the ice.
The other nominees for the 2016-17 ECHL Community Service Award were: James Henry (Adirondack), Gary Steffes (Allen), Mitch Zion (Brampton), Joel Rumpel (Cincinnati), Jake Marto (Colorado), Mark Bennett (Elmira), Josh Wesley (Florida), Matt Johnson (Greenville), Anthony Luciani (Idaho), Zach Miskovic (Indy), Jimmy Mullin (Kalamazoo), Craig Wyszomiriski (Manchester), Andrew Courtney (Missouri), Riley Wesolowski (Rapid City), Olivier Labelle (Reading), Trevor Gillies (South Carolina), Simon Denis (Toledo), Phil Brewer (Tulsa), Jon Puskar (Utah), Ross McMullan (Wheeling) and Macoy Erkamps (Wichita).
ECHL Community Service Award Winners2016-17 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 Dustin Sproat, Cincinnati Cyclones