Adam Hughesman spent five years in the Tri-City community, playing hockey for the Tri-City Americans and volunteering hundreds of hours to various causes.
At the end of the last season, Hughesman joked that he was expecting the mayor to give him a key to the city.
Kennewick mayor Steve Young did just that, and now a year later, Hughesman has a service award in his honor.
Hughesman Award recognizes an individual in Benton and Franklin counties, under the age of 21, who has demonstrated community involvement and volunteerism. The Young Foundation will provide a $1,000 scholarship to the recipient. The first will be awarded next month.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Hughesman in a phone interview from Las Vegas, where he just finished his first season with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL hockey league. “I’m honored. Honestly, I call Tri-Cities home. It was an amazing five years. Giving back to the community is something I take to heart. You can be a good hockey player, but if you are a good person, good things will happen for you. I hope this award inspires young people to get involved.”
Hughesman, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, also was made an honorary resident of Kennewick last year, and Young proclaimed May 1 as Adam Hughesman Day.
Young said the service award has been in the works for quite some time.
“We’ve been working on this shortly after we give him the award,” Young said. “We met with the (Tri-City) Regional Chamber of Commerce and they jumped at the opportunity to take charge. The only thing I asked is they name it after Adam — he was the one who inspired it.”
Young met with Hughesman’s former billet Jon Peschong and Americans general manager Bob Tory, and they enlightened the mayor about all the things Hughesman had done during his five years in the community.
“I got to looking around the community and I told my wife (Anita) there are probably kids who do a lot we don’t hear about,” Young said. “We always hear about the gangs and such. We don’t seem to notice the good ones.”
Young met with Hughesman a while back to get his take on the award.
“We took him out to dinner and talked about it,” Young said. “He was in tears. And, the owners of the team were thrilled.”
The Americans donate more than 2,500 hours of community service during the season from school reading programs to Habitat for Humanity, visiting patients at area hospitals and working with youth hockey teams. They also help raise money for several organizations.
“That is a tremendous honor, not only for Adam, but for our team,” Tory said. “It’s a special honor and it speaks volumes of the young man. He is being honored for the man he is by the community he loved. He left a legacy not only with the team, but in the community. We feel very blessed.”
Nominations for the Hughesman Award are being accepted at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce office through May 3. A nomination form can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/11NJmE5.The award will be presented at the Chamber of Commerce’s Network Tri-Cities Luncheon on May 22 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco.