The Cleveland Monsters proudly announced that Dillon Simpson has been awarded the prestigious title of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for the 2022-23 season. Simpson, the team’s captain and a veteran defenseman, has made remarkable contributions to the Cleveland community.
Simmer’s Sidekicks: Connecting with the Special Olympics Community
Simpson’s commitment to community engagement began before the season even started. He collaborated with the Monsters front office to create Simmer’s Sidekicks, a program aimed at connecting with local athletes from Special Olympics Ohio and their families. Every Saturday game, Simpson hosted over a dozen Special Olympics athletes, providing them with tickets, food and beverages, Monsters gear, and special experiences. The program allowed the athletes to be part of the team’s Cave Crew and receive recognition during in-game moments on the arena’s Humongotron. After the games, the athletes and their families had the opportunity to meet Simpson and obtain autographs.
Transforming a Child’s Dream: Brooks Taseff Becomes ‘Batman’
In collaboration with A Special Wish and their NP4Kids When I Grow Up Program, Simpson played a crucial role in fulfilling the dream of Brooks Taseff, a four-year-old diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Together with Brooks and his brother Elliott, Simpson embarked on a scavenger hunt to solve the mystery of a missing Monsters Batman jersey. They transformed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse into Gotham City and successfully solved the crime committed by ‘Harley Quinn.’ This unforgettable experience brought joy to Brooks and his family during a challenging time.
Supporting Veterans through Hockey for Heroes
Despite facing injuries throughout the season, Simpson’s dedication extended beyond his community programs. He actively participated in the Monsters’ Hockey for Heroes initiative, inviting three veterans or active-duty military members to each Friday home game. This program allowed these heroes to connect with a player postgame, showcasing the team’s support and appreciation for their service.
A Finalist for the Yanick Dupr Memorial Award
Simpson’s exceptional commitment to community involvement and leadership has led to his recognition as one of the 32 finalists for the AHL’s Yanick Dupr Memorial Award. This award, named after former player Yanick Dupr, honors the AHL Man of the Year. The winner will be announced by the American Hockey League on May 5th, further acknowledging Simpson’s remarkable contributions.
Throughout his time in Cleveland, Dillon Simpson has exemplified the spirit of a true community leader. His selflessness, compassion, and dedication have left a lasting impact on the Northeast Ohio community, and his efforts to connect with Special Olympics athletes, support children like Brooks Taseff, and honor veterans through Hockey for Heroes have made him a deserving recipient of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Dillon Simpson?Dillon Simpson is a professional ice hockey player who serves as the captain of the Cleveland Monsters. He was named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Cleveland community during the 2022-23 season.
What is Simmer’s Sidekicks program?Simmer’s Sidekicks is a program established by Dillon Simpson, the captain of the Cleveland Monsters, in collaboration with the Monsters front office and Special Olympics Ohio. It aims to connect with the Special Olympics community in Northeast Ohio by hosting local athletes and their families at every Saturday game, providing them with tickets, food and beverage, Monsters gear, and special experiences like meeting the players and being recognized during in-game moments.
What is the Yanick Dupr Memorial Award?The Yanick Dupr Memorial Award is an honor given by the American Hockey League (AHL) to recognize the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. It is named after Yanick Dupr, a former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who passed away in 1997 after battling leukemia. Dillon Simpson, the captain of the Cleveland Monsters, is one of the 32 finalists for this prestigious award in the 2022-23 season.
What is the Hockey for Heroes program?The Hockey for Heroes program is an initiative undertaken by the Cleveland Monsters. As part of this program, three veterans or active-duty military members are invited to attend each Friday home game of the Monsters. They have the opportunity to meet with a player postgame, fostering a connection between the team and the military community to show support and appreciation.
Where can I stay updated on the latest news about the Cleveland Monsters?You can stay up to date on all Monsters news by downloading the Monsters Mobile App presented by University Hospitals, which is available for download at the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Additionally, you can follow the Monsters on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.