The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today released the names of the three finalists for the 2020-2021 Kia Humanitarian of the Year Award. This year’s nominees are Anthony D’Amours of the Rimouski Océanic, Brett Budgell of the Charlottetown Islanders and Jaxon Bellamy of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
The trophy is awarded annually to a player that was an outstanding contributor to the well-being of his community. Past recipients include Daniel Brière, Simon Gamache and Samuel Laberge, the latter who won the award both in 2016 and 2017.
Nominated in 2020, Anthony D’Amours continued his significant community involvement, especially with the Rimouski Regional Hospital Foundation. Obviously, with the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital visits became challenging. Therefore, D’Amours got involved in the conception of a book that helped support sick children get through the past few months. However, the book wasn’t enough for him, so he spent time online with the children to chat about a wide variety of topics and to lift their spirits. The 20-year-old was also the instigator of a tree-planting program behind Rimouski’s Colisée Financière SunLife.
Brett Budgell didn’t take the pandemic as an excuse and made sure the well-being of his community was top of mind. The St. John’s, NL native was involved in a program which focused on food insecurity on Prince Edward Island. He contacted the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry (Charlottetown’s local food bank) to use his status as a hockey player to promote awareness for the program. He worked with the Upper Room throughout the season by gathering donations and promoting the organization’s services. He also helped them in the annual YMCA’s Men’s Club Food Drive.
Despite only becoming a member of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in January, Jaxon Bellamy was still at the forefront of his new community, acting as a Hockey Gives Blood Ambassador, an important initiative that encourages people to donate blood. Like Budgell, Bellamy also saw the importance of supporting the local food bank in these challenging times. He volunteered to collect non-perishable food items from fans and then delivered the items to the food bank.