Josh Kosack named winner of 2022 Hockey Humanitarian Award

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior attacker Josh Kosack (Oakville, Ont.) Of the Union College men’s hockey team has been named the 2022 recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which was announced Friday night by the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation at the Encore Boston Hotel and Casino.

Kosack is the 27th honorary recipient of the award, which dates back to 1996 and the fifth student-athlete from an ECAC Hockey institution to be selected. He was recognized during Friday night’s Frozen Four ceremony along with the recipients of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award (which Kosack won in 2021), the Mike Richter Award and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

Kosack was one of two repeat finalists from last season alongside Andrew Walker (Mason, Mich.) And Jacob Adkins (Centennial, Colo.) Of UMass Boston. Gabbie Hughes (Lino Lakes, Minn.) Of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Jordan Keeley (St. Peter, Minn.) Of Saint Mary’s University and Hannah Price (Pittsburgh, Pa.) Of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were the other finalists.

“I am extremely honored to be this year’s recipient of the Hockey Humanitarian Award,” Kosack said. “It was really remarkable to read about the stories of the other graduates and the differences they make in their communities. I would like to thank my Union College family and the Schenectady community for all the support they have given me in cultivating Kozi’s Kids and help me make a difference in COCOA House, as well as Will Rivas for the inspiring work he has done for his community and mentoring the young people of Schenectady. ”

In its 27th year, the award is presented annually to the best citizen of college hockey – a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his team but also to society in general through leadership in volunteer work.

Kosack has spent the last three years making an impression in Schenectady and around the metropolitan area through his Kozi’s Kids initiative, which started after an interaction with a young fan at a road game in 2019. Started as a way to introduce children from community for hockey and life as a collegiate student-athlete, Kosack quickly became more ingrained in the work of COCOA (Children of our Community Open to Achievement) House, which provides a safe after-school environment to promote academic enrichment and sustainable life skills for inner-city youth in Schenectady . Kosack began spending time in the house weekly in addition to hosting children from the group at home games, providing homework support, participating in activities, and being a role model for the young children.

As the pandemic limited personal interactions in the 2020-21 season, Kosack focused his focus and raised more than $ 5,000 to purchase laptops and online learning equipment for COCOA House as well as Christmas gifts for community members. With growing momentum for his cause, Kosack set an initial goal of $ 20,000 for his fundraiser this year and blew past that goal almost instantly, ending with nearly $ 50,000, some of which will go to a lounge area in COCOA House’s new Team Empowerment Center, which is in currently under construction.

“The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation congratulates Josh, as well as the other four finalists,” said Matt Patrick, CEO of the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation. “Kozi’s Kids program is an inspiring testament to his initiative, leadership, and commitment to helping children in need. In fact, the foundation pays tribute to all this year’s nominees for their robust contributions to their communities and to global issues that hold their hearts high.”

His nomination this year marked the 10th time that a Union student-athlete was nominated for the prestigious award, joining the twice-nominated Sebastien Gingras ’16, finalist Jeff Wilson ’02, Stephane Boileau ’11, Olivier Bouchard ’07, Cole Ikkala ’14, Ashley Johnston ’14 and Jamie Laubisch ’05.

“Josh is the epitome of what we’re looking for in a student-athlete at Union College, and I can not think of a more deserving candidate for this award,” said the Union Director of Athletics. Jim McLaughlin ’93. “What Josh has done for COCOA House and the impact he has had on Schenectady youth has been remarkable. All of us at Union are so proud of his efforts on the ice, in the classroom and especially in society.”

On Friday night, the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation Kosack presented a $ 3,000 check to COCOA House. The other HHA finalists each received $ 500 to their respective designated charities. These donations from the HHA Foundation are possible through generous support from the award’s partners and donors.



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