March 25, 2024, Mississauga, ON – ….  Odaro Ewere of the Stouffville Spirit is the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Humanitarian of the Year for 2023-24, the league announced today.

The captain of the Spirit the past two seasons led his teammates in a variety of community activities during his three years in Stouffville.

“A great young man we were honoured to have in our program,” said Spirit General Manager/Governor Kenny Burrows. “Odaro wants to give back, to help others, either on our team or in our town. And it’s always with a smile and a positive attitude.”

“In his third year, he took it to another level, seeking out projects for the team to get involved with. He’s a real gem. People in Stouffville know who he is and how dedicated to them he is. We should all be like Odaro.”

When a community program to teach novices how to skate was launched in Stouffville last winter, Odaro organized Spirit teammates to attend and help instruct local youngsters.

Other community activities Odaro volunteered with this season included:

  • Stouffville Terry Fox Run where players staffed refreshment stops
  • Third annual Coats for Kids drive. Players collected clothing with members of the Stouffville Lions at local arenas
  • The Spirit teamed up with the York Region OSPCA to promote pet adoption in the Stouffville area. Odaro organized getting players to the shelter for a media/education day, which promoted the Spirit’s second annual OSPCA game day event
  • Stouffville Community Cleanup Day at Musselman’s Lake in 2022. Odaro led a group of eight Spirit players who worked with the Lions Club.
  • Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Drive.
  • Canadian Blood Services clinic. Odaro and teammates worked with other volunteers, thanking donors and handing out tickets to Spirit games
  • Hockey Gives Blood ‘Be A Hero’ Stem Cell campaign.
  • Stouffville Santa Claus Parade float.

“From a young age, my parents always told me to give back and be good in the community,” he told the OJHL. “I learned a lot from them. And I enjoy being out in the community meeting new people and taking in new experiences. I just love doing what’s good.”

The community clean-up day with the Lions Club was one highlight, he said..

“And the (Kids First Fund) learn-to-skate program – helping the new kids get into hockey, seeing the progression over the weeks of the program,” he said. “That was a really good time.”

A full-time student at Seneca College, Odaro also holds down a part-time job.

On the ice, he led the Spirit in scoring with 70 points this season. He was selected to play in the 2023 OJHL All-Star Game.

Ewere will be honoured along with the other OJHL award recipients at a ceremony during the OJHL Nutrafarms Championship Series in late April. 

The OJHL is announcing its 2023-24 award winners throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs.

TOMORROW: Athletic Therapist of the Year

About the OJHL – “League of Choice”

The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 24 member clubs. A proud member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Ontario Hockey Association, the OJHL was originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior ‘A’ Hockey League and it was formed out of the Central Junior ‘B’ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including U SPORTS, the NCAA, CHL, minor pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL has had more than 45 NCAA Division I scholarships already this season.

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