The Calgary Flames announced today that Mikael Backlund is the winner of the Ralph and Sonia Scurfield Humanitarian Award for the 2020-21 season.
This is the second time Mikael will have his name engraved on this award having been named the recipient in 2014. The award is presented annually to the Flames player who best exemplifies perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service.
Backlund, who is also the Flames representative for the King Clancy Award for league wide humanitarian work, has been a leader on and off the ice since beginning his career in Calgary in 2008. Even throughout the pandemic, Backlund was able to grow his community efforts by engaging virtually with fans and adding a new community initiative.
Mikael and his wife Frida have been supporting the ALS Society of Alberta since 2012. For the 8th year running, KPMG Calgary and the Backlunds joined forces to continue the fight against ALS. For every point he recorded, he made a $500 donation to the ALS Society of Alberta, alongside KPMG and the Calgary Flames Foundation. To date, they have raised over $220,000. Mikael also has a close relationship with Special Olympics Calgary and Kids Cancer Care participating in multiple virtual events during the pandemic. Partnering with Sentinel Storage, they provided a special experience for fans through zoom while donating $10,000 to Kids Cancer Care, along with autographed memorabilia.
The Backlunds new program this year was in a partnership with Parachutes for Pets and titled Lily’s Legacy. This program is named after the Backlunds’ puppy who they lost to cancer this past year while also assisting children who are transitioning to foster care to keep their pets. The ‘Love for Lily’ children’s boxes launched in March 2021 and are filled with necessary supplies for pets as well as Flames t-shirts, hats and signed photos. Over $13,000 was raised from the purchased boxes for the program.
Sonia and Ralph Scurfield were members of the original Flames ownership group in 1980. Sonia was a philanthropist, community leader and business woman. She is the only Canadian woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup, an accomplishment she achieved in 1989. Ralph was recognized as a leader in the Calgary business community and a builder of the University of Calgary business programs. Mr. Scurfield was a true supporter of all sports and a believer in community involvement. Sonia past away in 2018 and Ralph was tragically lost in a heli-skiing accident in 1986.