Marquardt was a regular participant in nearly all of the Checkers’ community events, volunteering his time to help dozens of local non-profit organizations and schools.
Along with Checkers Director of Community Relations Elle Bunn, he led the Checkers’ St. Baldrick’s initiative, shaving his head and recruiting other players and fans to do the same, while helping raise more than $91,000 for childhood cancer research.
Marquardt also participated in the team’s new Chubby’s Buddies program, which pairs a Special Olympics athlete with a Checkers player for a series of events throughout the season. The Buddies attended Bobcats games, went on a bowling outing and skated at Time Warner Cable Arena several times.
Other events he participated in throughout the season included the Checkers’ PowerPLAY program, which teaches area elementary school students the importance of healthy eating and active living, French class visits, a Habitat for Humanity home build, the annual teddy bear delivery at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital, the Checkers’ Movember fundraiser and volunteering at Project H.A.L.O., a local animal shelter and beneficiary of the Checkers’ annual Pooch Party.
Marquardt is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2013-14 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League later this month.