John-Michael Liles may have been a Hobey Baker Award Finalist for the Michigan State Spartans, but we at The Yost Post were lucky enough to interview him last fall—therefore, by association with the Yost Post, he’s a good guy who we have no problem talking about!
Well, why are we mentioning him?
Easy, Liles has been nominated for the 2012 NHL Foundation Player Award. This Award is given annually to an NHL player who “applies the core values of hockey—commitment, perseverance and teamwork—to enrich the lives of people in his community.”
Other nominees this year include Mike Fisher from the Nashville Predators and Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders.
So what has Liles done?
He created the Liles’ Buds program. From the Toronto Maple Leafs,
“an initiative he developed early in the season in partnership with The Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN) that recognizes children who perform acts of kindness and give back to their community through anti-bullying efforts. Liles donated 10 suite nights to this program, valued at $33,000, to Maple Leafs games during the 2011-12 season to children from the CSSN, Autism Speaks Canada and Cardiac Kids. Liles further demonstrated his dedication to education through a $25,000 donation to the First Book Canada program, money that purchased 5,000 books, supporting First Book Canada’s mission to address the challenge of literacy in Canada at its root by providing new, age and language appropriate books to children who otherwise would not be able to access them.”
Think that’s a lot…there’s more!
He lead the Maple Leafs—the first year he’s been on the team mind you—for most community appearances this season.
Here’s a list of what he did: visiting and signing autographs for children at numerous team events in support of the charitable arm of the Maple Leafs, the MLSE Team Up Foundation, and was an active participant in all of the Leafs’ full team events, including the Leafs and Legends Charity Golf Classic, Have a Heart Dinner, Outdoor Practice, SickKids Hospital visit, Easter Seals Skate and One4One.
He also participated in the following…
Liles also participated in the Canadian Military’s Operation HOHOHO, served breakfast to the homeless at University Settlement in Toronto for three hours on Christmas morning, visited numerous terminally ill patients at local hospitals, and was an ambassador of the Leafs School program Shape Up, which is a program available to schools in the Greater Toronto Area that focuses on creating healthy, active living opportunities for children and youth in Grades 1-8.
And no, we are still not done. This one is close to my heart because my sister is a graduate of Culver. He donated $90,000 to the renovation of the locker room facilities at Culver Academy. This include the purchase of new training equipment both inside and outside the rink as well as tournament entry fees for their teams and other equipment purchases and expenses that occur during the hockey season.
He’s pretty much Mr. Everything.
Good luck to John-Michael—you’ve earned this nomination and as far as I’m concerened, the award! Keep doing great things and making a difference!