FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2022
K-WINGS NOMINATED FOR FOUR ECHL AWARDS
League’s front office awards show to be streamed on the ECHL’s Facebook page at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 29.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, have earned four award nominations at the 2021-22 league awards, as announced by the ECHL on Tuesday.
The award nominations are as follows: ECHL Executive of the Year, ECHL Theme Night of the Year, Community Service Team of the Year, and the ECHL & Nickelodeon Minor League Program award.
Awards will be presented at the 2022 ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 29, presented by MEGASeats. Fans can stream the award ceremony on the ECHL’s Facebook page at 8:00 p.m. EST that day.
K-Wings ECHL Award Nominations
ECHL Executive of the Year: K-Wings General Manager & Governor Toni Will is nominated for the ECHL Executive of the Year award. The award is to be announced privately during the ECHL Board of Governors meeting at the end of June. Will just completed her seventh season with the K-Wings, and is the first woman ever to be elected to the League’s Board of Governors Executive Committee. Over the past season, Will’s leadership helped the K-Wings to the No. 1 ranking in the ECHL for year-over-year attendance growth (25%), she chaired the league’s Team Services committee and also served as a member of the league’s ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ committee. Last season also marked historic and record breaking community impact initiatives for Will, as she is responsible for the first ever Rainbow Ice game and quarterbacking over $358 thousand dollars for donations to community relations and fundraising efforts.
ECHL Theme Night of the Year: Kalamazoo’s ‘Rainbow Ice / Hockey Is For Everyone’ game garnered international, national and local exposure thanks to its innovative planning and execution of the event. The K-Wings are the first team ever to play on a Rainbow painted ice surface. For the event, Kalamazoo secured a sponsorship from the local top 40 radio station, designed and wore rainbow-colored jerseys and the game was picked up nationally & internationally by the NHL, ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, NBC, BarDown, Bleacher Report, Sports Net, and the Daily Faceoff. Additionally, Kalamazoo’s social media coverage of the event garnered over 4 million impressions total.
ECHL Community Service Team of the Year: The K-Wings community impact performance was record breaking in 2021-22. The team’s Teddy Bear Toss, Jersey Auctions and Colored Ice games all focused on engaging & enriching the Kalamazoo community and were massive successes. In total, the K-Wings donated over $358 thousand dollars to 182 local nonprofits and smashed the last two season’s donation total by over 300%.
ECHL & Nickelodeon Minor League Program: This award recognizes Nickelodeon’s top performers in partnered theme night activations. This past season, Kalamazoo enjoyed massive success with its ‘Ren and Stimpy’ & ‘Star Trek’ nights. With a win in this category, the K-Wings could secure more exclusive opportunities to partner with Nickelodeon in the future.
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets and American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.