The annual Esso Awards put on by Kindersley Minor Hockey took place Wednesday night. The younger age groups received their awards first, before U13, U15, and U18 awards such as the Trent Kresse Memorial MVP for U15, Daren Uzelman Memorial MVP for U18, and Torrens Most Inspirational for each age group closed out the night.

Kindersley Minor Hockey President Ethan Wigley had lots to share on the night overall. A full follow up from Wigley on the awards night is coming, but first he wanted to share more on another special trophy handed out for the very first time.

"Shaun Henry approached us in hopes that (the organization) would want to introduce the award to Kindersley this year. New to Kindersley is the Jamie Henry Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year."

Wigley provided a little more background.

"Jamie and Shaun Henry moved to Kindersley in 2011 with their young family, boys Kiptin and Kohen. They began with KMH at an early age, and like many hockey moms, Jamie was seen around the rink cheering them on and helping in any way she could."

Jamie's volunteer efforts weren't just limited to minor sports. Jamie helped spearhead funds for the construction of the current Kindersley Aquatic Centre, that helping her win Kindersley Citizen of the Year back in 2017.

Shortly after that Jamie and the family received some bad news. In 2018 Jamie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and passed away in 2020. Fast forward to 2024, and the new award is a perfect way to honour her commitment to her family, and the sport they love.

"Jamie's boys were most passionate about hockey, and whatever made them happy, was what she supported the most. To honour her memory, the family has created the Kindersley Minor Hockey Volunteer of the Year award."

From now on each year one individual will be chosen through nomination for the award, hopefully finding candidates like Jamie who always helped out when needed. Wigley and the rest of the board agree that it's a great addition that will be handed out for years to come.

The winner of the 2024 Jamie Henry Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year was none-other than longtime KMH volunteer Elaine Epp.

Elaine Epp Award.jpg(Photo courtesy Elaine Epp)

"Elaine was very deserving of this award. When it comes to volunteering there is nobody better than Elaine, she will step up whenever you need her." said Wigley before rattling off all of Epp's jobs over the years. "She was the U18 coordinator this year, commissioner for the league this year. In previous years she was ref coordinator." said Wigley, as it wasn't an uncommon sight for Epp to be taking the reins so parents on the team could enjoy the game.

If there was any doubt on if Epp would win, she sealed the deal on Wednesday just trying to help.

"Yesterday, she took the whole day off just to help the organizers with anything they needed. I think that was a really good choice for the first Kindersley Minor Hockey Volunteer of the Year Award. I think Elaine is probably very proud of that award, and she should be."

WestCentralOnline reached out to Epp, who was shocked by the whole thing, telling the newsroom she was too emotional to give a speech.

Elaine Epp Award 2_0.jpg Epp no doubt earned the recognition thanks to all of her volunteer work over the years (Photo courtesy Elaine Epp)

To make the night even better, Shaun, Kohen, and Kiptin were on stage to present Epp with the award. It was an emotional night for many with the first unveiling, and will likely continue to be a crowd-favourite award to be handed out over the next few years.