Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray will be honored with the United Way’s Community Builder of the Year award at a gala Thursday for his work in raising cancer awareness. Murray, 72, was diagnosed last June and went public with his diagnosis in July.
Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray didn’t set out to make his battle with colon cancer public because he wanted to receive recognition, he did it so he could help raise awareness and possibly help save some lives. He’s done the latter already, and now United Way is making sure he gets the honor he deserves.
The United Way announced that Murray will receive the Community Builder of the Year award for his work in making his battle public and helping to inspire others in Ottawa and across the country. He will be presented with the award at an awards gala Thursday, but in a video released by the United Way, the 72-year-old Senators GM already is trying to play down his role.
“I’m not a very interesting person other than I think I care about people,” Murray says in the video. “I’m very proud of the family and the community I come from. I hope that I’m able to give back to this community in a big way with players that we bring in and develop a good hockey team, but also anything I can do within the community to be supportive of people that need support.”
Additionally, Murray told the Ottawa Sun’s Aedan Helmer the award had more to do with the Senators, as a team, than it did solely Murray. That’s not the case, however, as the award is explicitly honoring Murray, and just Murray, for the work he has done in the community over the years and, now, his work to raise cancer awareness.
“Mr. Murray’s commitment to giving, community betterment and the pursuit of excellence are traits that have marked the entire hockey community and every city that he has worked in over the years,” the United Way said in a release.
“Never one to take the credit, Mr. Murray stayed away from the spotlight preferring to focus on the team and winning hockey games,” the release continued. “That was until last July when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Instead of keeping the diagnosis private, Mr. Murray chose to share his story to raise awareness and encourage others to get checked. The public battle Mr. Murray is waging against his disease has made him an example of unselfishness, perseverance and dedication. He exemplifies the qualities of a community builder by working tirelessly and passionately to better our community.”
The Community Builder of the Year award is the top honor of the gala, as Murray will headline an evening in which seven other awards will be handed out to those who have helped impact Ottawa with their work in the community.