04/07/2017 9:09 AM
Fort Wayne, IN-- The ECHL announced Friday that Fort Wayne’s Mike Embach has been selected as the recipient of the 2016-17 ECHL Community Service Award. Embach becomes the first Komet to receive the league honor.
Each ECHL team was given the opportunity to nominate a player for their efforts in community and charitable causes during the 2016-17 season. The nominations were voted on by League Office personnel.
Embach attended over 20 Komets’ community appearances during the 2016-17 season. As an active member of “Hockey Players 4 Kids,” he strives to teach children the importance of reading and working hard in school.
In addition to attending appearances, Embach also helps to coordinate with the rest of the team to make sure they are getting involved in the community as well. After re-signing with the Komets last summer, he made a special trip back to Fort Wayne to participate in the 3Rivers Parade and mingled with fans in the crowd.
Embach joined the Komets in 2013-14 and during his four-year career with Fort Wayne has helped start an annual “Komets Visit” to Lutheran Children’s Hospital around Christmas. This year, instead of handing out stuffed animals, he and head coach Gary Graham planned a day for the all players to go shopping and select gifts for the children. After visiting the children’s hospital, the team visited Vincent Village to deliver gifts to children that are homeless. After surprising the kids with presents, Embach and the team stayed to have tea parties and play games.
Embach also volunteers time as a youth hockey coach at Parkview Ice House. He currently coaches one to two nights per week, teaching power skating, stick handling and skills and battle camps.
The last two consecutive seasons he has received the “True Komet Award,” an award which is presented to the player who exemplifies team spirit and a positive attitude on and off the ice.
The ECHL began presenting the Community Service Award in 2010-11 and Embach becomes the eighth recipient of the annual honor.