MILWAUKEE - The Hockey Humanitarian Foundation today announced that Princeton senior goaltender Eric Leroux is the recipient of the 2006 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The award was presented on Friday night at center ice of the Bradley Center in conjunction with the Hobey Baker Award announcement and 2006 Frozen Four Skills Competition.
On the ice Leroux has been a standout for the Tigers and this year was named a first-team All-Ivy and third-team All-ECACHL selection. He capped his career with a career-high seven wins and backstopped Princeton to wins over nationally ranked opponents Cornell, Denver, Clarkson and St. Lawrence. In 2005-06 he recorded Princeton's highest single-season save percentage and the team's second lowest goals-against average. He graduates ranked in the school's top five in both categories.
It is off of the ice however where Leroux has left the mark that has earned him the 11th Annual Hockey Humanitarian Award. Last summer Leroux spent 10 weeks in Kenya working with the Foundation for Sustainable Development. The previous summer he spent six weeks in Ecuador working in a community malaria clinic. Closer to home at Princeton, he founded a team initiative named PUCK (Providing Underprivileged Communities and Kids) and also the Princeton World Health Initiative.
"Eric is an exceptional human being and each and every day around him is amazing," says Princeton Head Coach Guy Gadowsky. "He is a leader on our team both on and off of the ice and he truly epitomizes what the Hockey Humanitarian Award symbolizes."
In addition to his trip to Kenya as an HIV counselor living in a rural village in a mud hut with no running water, and also serving in a malaria clinic in Ecuador where on weekends he helped build a rehabilitation clinic from Amazon Jungle vegetation, Leroux has also touched lives in and around the Hobey Baker Rink.
Leroux is a Big Brother to an area teen and has also tutors adults at the Hutton House Center for Disabled Adults. He is the founder of PUCK, a team initiative to donate old hockey equipment to youth hockey programs which last year was successful in contributing more than $5,000 worth of equipment to the Baltimore Area Youth Hockey Association.
Upon his return from Ecuador he founded the Princeton World Health Initiative, which recovers unused medical supplies from area hospitals and pharmaceutical companies and distributes them to hospitals in developing nations. He is also involved with the Society for Orphans with AIDS Network.
"A lot can be done in this world and a little can go a long way," says Leroux. "Everyone in this world deserves a chance and circumstance is not a fair way to provide opportunity. I think that it's up to all of us to recognize that everyone deserves the same opportunity; the malnutritioned babies and HIV infected children that are dying in Third World Countries, it's up to all of us to make a difference."