The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) announced today the three nominees for the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year award presented by Kia Canada. The 2019-2020 finalists are Anthony D’Amours of the Rimouski Océanic, Xavier Simoneau of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Alex-Olivier Voyer of the Sherbrooke Phœnix.
The trophy is awarded annually to a player for his outstanding contribution to the well-being of his community. Past recipients include Daniel Brière, Simon Gamache and Samuel Laberge, who won the award twice.
Anthony D’Amours took the torch from Charle-Édouard D’Astous and was named the spokesperson for the Mois des petits héros (Little Heroes Month) last February, an initiative which originated from the Rimouski Regional Hospital Foundation. Moreover, the Trois-Pistoles native produced videos to support many causes, such as Samuel Finn’s fundraising initiative and a tribute to Alec Reid who passed away last year due to complications related to epilepsy. D’Amours also took on the challenge of shaving his head to raise funds for cancer research and took part in the Oceanic’s Patin-O-Thon, helping raise funds for local minor hockey associations.
Xavier Simoneau agreed to be the spokesperson for the Centre-du-Québec Autism organization. He helped promote the sale of their special Voltigeurs caps throughout the season, which were made in order to raise funds and create awareness for the cause. The Saint-André-Avellin native also developed his “Amis à Simy” (Simy’s Friends) project. The initiative was put together in order to reward kids who’ve done good deeds or to highlight the efforts of those with learning disabilities and to help kids fighting illnesses or going through tough times in their lives. On top of that, Simoneau got involved with Drummondville’s minor hockey association and played an active role in the Voltigeurs’ community activities, including several school visits.
Alex-Olivier Voyer served as an honorary co-President of the Phoenix’s blood drive, took part in various activities with partners and fans and visited many schools and minor hockey teams in the Sherbrooke region throughout the season. He also created his own contest where kids can experience a typical summer day in the life of a hockey player. Furthermore, the Sherbrooke native launched a collection of sporting goods under his own name, encouraging people to donate new pieces of equipment to be used by future young athletes that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.