Calgary Stampeders receiver Colton Hunchak is the 2022 recipient of the Herm Harrison Memorial Award.
Established in 2013, the annual award recognizes a Stampeders player for his outstanding community service. One of the franchise’s all-time greats, Herm Harrison played for the Stampeders from 1964-72 and was a West Division all-star on six occasions and a CFL all-star three times. Harrison remained in Calgary following his playing days and continued to support numerous community initiatives.
A Calgary native and an alumnus of Notre Dame High School, the 25-year-old Hunchak is an active participant in numerous community initiatives, most notably with the Every Yard Counts program with the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, the Leading Change partnership with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters and the Big Time Players 7v7 football program.
“Having grown up here in Calgary, I got to see firsthand the involvement the Stampeders had in the community,” said Hunchak. “My friends, family and I were very inspired by the personal relationships and community outreach the Stampeders had in the city.
“Having the opportunity to give back and make even the littlest difference gives me a lot of joy. The Stampeders’ involvement in the community is something that makes them such a great organization to be a part of.”
As a regular member of the Every Yard Counts program, Hunchak and several of his teammates visited the Alberta Children’s Hospital the day before home games to spend time with young patients. In addition, the Stampeders invited a patient and their family to attend a game at McMahon Stadium and meet with players afterwards.
Hunchak’s work with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids consisted of preparing school lunches for students from families with inadequate access to food due to financial constraints. A reported one in 10 households in Alberta faces food insecurity.
The partnership between the Stampeders and the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters dates back to the 2014 season and is dedicated to raising awareness about the violence faced by women and girls.
Hunchak is one of the current members of the Stamps’ ACWS team. Players go through three days of training to equip themselves with tools to cultivate a culture of personal leadership against gender-based violence. In tandem with ACWS staff, the players then speak at local schools and other organizations.
Hunchak has also been a guest coach for the Calgary-based Big Time Players program, which helps develop and train young football players.
Past winners of the Herm Harrison Memorial Award include Rob Cote (2013), Randy Chevrier (2014), Bo Levi Mitchell (2015, 2016), Joshua Bell (2017), Rob Maver (2018, 2019) and Kamar Jorden (2021).