Zach Rakochy of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the month of December.
Rakochy was involved significantly in local fund raising with a focus on charities that support men’s mental health. After a recent home game, Zach and teammate Kyle Rous shaved their heads publicly in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Prostate Cancer Awareness, respectively.
Between the two players, they raised about $2,000 for the local charities.
The hair-cutting project started growing after Rakochy was deeply impacted when a former hockey teammate took his own life.
“We had played junior together. He was a good buddy of mine,” said the Pistons’ goaltender, who hails from Canora, Sk. “He suffered from depression. When he took his life it really hit me hard. I wanted to make a difference after that.
“When I was getting my hair cut I was thinking about him. It was very emotion for me. It really felt unreal knowing I was helping and making a difference.”
Rakochy, 19, has also been actively involved in minor hockey and has worked one on one with several minor hockey goalies to develop their skills. In December he also packed food hampers that were distributed to needy families. In addition to all these activities he also made four school appearances and spoke to students at local schools.
“The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the citizenship displayed by Zach,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis.