While Mark Giordano has been named a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Of The Year Award, it isn’t an individual honour for the Flames captain.
In fact, he feels the spotlight should be turned towards someone else – his wife Lauren.
Unfortunately Lauren, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, was unable to attend this evening’s ESPN Sports Humanitarian Awards but for Mark, this evening’s ceremony is very much about her and her tireless work with a variety of community initiatives.
“She should be standing right next to me. She does all the hard work, day-in and day-out,” Giordano told CalgaryFlames.com. “Really, I’ve learned so much from her, the giving person that she is.”
Candice Goudie, the Flames Foundation’s executive director, has worked with Lauren over the past decade and is thrilled to see her work elevated and recognized through such an important platform.
“Lauren is an extraordinary human being,” Goudie stated. “I’ve never met someone who gives and gives and gives. It’s just a part of the fabric of who she is. The Team Giordano program is just one of the many projects that she and Mark have taken on and she is personally driving those efforts forward.
“She’s so motivated by really positive things and she’s motivated for all of the right reasons … she’s never satisfied with her efforts and I think that’s a really unique thing.
“She believes in her heart that there is more good to be done.”
The Team Giordano initiative has partnered with the Calgary Board of Education to help provide resources and mentorship to four high-needs schools in the city. From purchasing computers to helping create unique learning spaces to making regular visits to the schools, the Giordanos have impacted the lives of over 1,900 students in Calgary.
In addition to handling the Team Giordano day-to-day operations, Lauren has spearheaded countless Flames Better Halves initiatives and has immersed herself in numerous community programs.
“Day-in and day-out, you can’t say enough about what she does,” Mark said after he was named a finalist. “She goes to schools, she’s visiting the kids … she goes above and beyond.
“If you know her … and how much she’s willing to give, she’ll do things outside of the charity too. It’s not just all about our charity. She’s done Christmas toy drives for families in Calgary. We’ve had Syrian refugee families come into the city that Lauren is very passionate about and helps out.
“She does more than me. I’m on the road, traveling and playing hockey and she grinds it out and puts the real work in. She deserves as much, if not more, recognition as me.”
By Torie Peterson