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Dave Whiitanen

Dave Wiitanen Recieves Wm. Thayer Tutt Award

By USA Hockey, 07/09/14, 6:30PM EDT


Whiitanen Receives Top USA Hockey Honor

Dave Wiitanen has lived a hockey life. A native of Hancock, Michigan, Wiitanen’s hockey legacy began in 1963 when he joined the local youth hockey association as a bantam coach and board member. In the decade to follow, he was instrumental in growing the CCJHA from a handful of skaters into a thriving youth program. Wiitanen was elected president of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association in 1969-70. With his MAHA election, Wiitanen continued his tireless local efforts while also throwing himself headlong into growing and supporting the game throughout Michigan. As president of Portage Lake Multi Educational Services, he helped Houghton County build a second indoor ice rink, then helped re-activate high school hockey in the Houghton-Hancock area after a 25-year lapse. He also spurred a rebirth of the Portage Lake Pioneers in the top flight of American senior hockey. Additionally, he served on the Michigan Tech Blue Line Club and was president of the Michigan All-Stater program that recognized the state’s top hockey-playing high school seniors. Wiitanen was also a driving force in creating the Copper Country Hockey Youth Fund, an endowment launched in 2008 to make hockey more affordable for local kids. The endowment’s original gift, a $5,000 check, came directly from Wiitanen. He remains active in hockey as a member of the Houghton County Arena board and the Finlandia University Blue Line Club. He was also a USA Hockey registrar for eight years.

The Wm. Thayer Tutt Award is presented to a volunteer who, during many years of service, has displayed selfless dedication to the enhancement of ice hockey at the grassroots level in the United States.