Hope Award Recipient 2017 – Mike Fisher


About Mike Fisher

A veteran of 17 NHL seasons and more than 1,000 games, Mike Fisher’s class, work ethic, and commitment to his family, his faith and the community has made him the gold standard for professional athletes in the 21st century.

Fisher exemplifies what most can only hope to achieve in one’s lifetime – this goes far beyond his successful NHL career on the ice. He started his outreach early in his career with the Ottawa Senators, where he served as honorary chairperson of Roger’s House – a collaboration between the team’s foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario to honor the late Roger Neilson and provide a home-like environment and access to a pediatric palliative care for children and youth – as well as establishing the Mike Fisher Foundation and Charity Hockey School, which he established in 2008 to teach hockey, life skills, and raise funds for several Ottawa-area children’s charities. He also started his work with Hockey Ministries International which continues today.

Upon his trade to the Nashville Predators in February 2011, Fisher immediately entrenched himself in the Nashville community, and was honored for his tireless dedication when he was honored as the 2012 NHL Foundation Award winner, which recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community, just 16 months later. His faith is the largest driving force behind who he is and how he operates, and what fans see publicly with his community service only scratches the surface of his work, because he chooses to do so much anonymously. Although Mike prefers to perform community service without fanfare, he does understand the importance of getting the word out about the organizations he supports so others may join in on his efforts.

In September 2011, Fisher published his first book, Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story. It is geared toward 9-11 year-olds, highlights his faith journey, and proceeds from the book benefit World Vision, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organization. He has a strong relationship with Room In the Inn, a full-service facility serving homeless men living in Nashville, as well as Cottage Cove Urban Ministries, a Nashville based non-profit organization that serves inner-city youth. Other organizations he works closely with include Rocketown, a faith-based youth outreach facility in the heart of Downtown Nashville, and the I am Second campaign, which is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others.

Most recently, Fisher was named the board of directors at Danita’s Children, a non-profit organization that rescues, loves and cares for orphaned and impoverished children in Haiti. He has also recently served as a spokesperson for the MEND organization, an innovative, primary prevention initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging and educating men and boys.

A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Fisher retired from the NHL following the 2016-17, one in which he led the Nashville Predators to their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final in his one and only season as team captain. During his 17 seasons, he amassed 585 points in 1,088 regular-season games and 51 more in 134 postseason contests. He helped Ottawa reach the 2007 Stanley Cup Final and earned silver medals with Canada at the 2005 and 2009 World Championships. In 2006, he was a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward, was the Predators’ nominee for the King Clancy Award – which is awarded annually to the NHLers who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community – in five of his six full seasons with the club – and was Ottawa’s nominee for the 2004 Masterton Memorial Trophy – given annually for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport. He became the 300th player in NHL history to play in his 1,000th career game on March 3, 2016 vs. New Jersey, and six months later on Sept. 8, he received the honor of being named the sixth captain in Nashville Predators history after serving seven consecutive seasons as an alternate captain and member of the team’s leadership group for both the Senators and Predators.

And while his list of professional accomplishments is lengthy, nothing compares to becoming a father, which Mike did when he and his wife, Carrie, did when they welcomed Isaiah Michael Fisher into the world on Feb. 27, 2015.

When he isn’t at the rink or in the community, Fisher loves the outdoors – he is an avid fisherman, hunter and enjoys golfing.


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  • When I first came to The Refuge Center, I had an eating disorder. Now I am not worried about food or my weight. I am happy and have more joy. I am not worried or anxious.

    Female, Age 17
  • The Refuge Center has taught me so much about myself. I’ve discovered who I am in a bright, new way. I’ve learned how to work through pain of loss, relationship problems, and I’ve learned how to set healthy boundaries. After all, it’s up to me to protect myself. I’ve also learned that I’m not damaged, or maybe I am, but we all are and we all can heal. The Refuge Center has taught me how to take steps towards healing. It’s a journey, but a beautiful one. I’m learning to find joy in the “here and now”.

    Female, Age 27
  • My family and I came to The Refuge Center after experiencing several traumatic deaths in our immediate family.  We were eagerly met with patience, love, concern, and understanding of our situation.  They have offered tremendous guidance and excellent suggestions to help us cope.  We feel blessed that God guided us to such an amazing center!

    Family testimonial
  • I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to have received help from the Refuge Center.  My therapist has been amazing!  When I came to the center, I felt devastated, guilty, unloved and overwhelmed.  My therapist helped me see things in such a different light.  She gave me tools to use and listened to me cry.  She gave me courage and hope.  She truly has been an angel sent to me from God.  As I sit here today, I feel confident and stronger than I ever have!  I am forever thankful for all your help.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Female, Age 40
  • Talking to my counselor has been life changing.  She helped me understand things fully, like with friendships, family problems, and my own feelings and emotions.  I’m really thankful for her help.  Even though I’ve never been to another counselor, I’m pretty sure she’s the best ever!  It’s great to have someone to talk to other than friends and family. Thank you.

    Female, Age 14
  • The Refuge Center has helped me with a lot of skills to help me control my fears, like deep breathing and telling ‘Mr. Trouble’ to leave me alone and most important, praying.  Thank you Refuge Center!

    Female, Age 10
  • The Refuge Center has helped me in a way I never truly thought could be helped. I feel like I can live again because my counselor actually cared about me as a person and daughter of God, not just a client. The most comforting words she ever said in my sessions were “I pray for you.” This was especially moving when I was in such a dark place I couldn’t even pray myself. The sliding scale gave me a sense of dignity, in that I could afford to pay for it on my own, like I was investing in my own recovery.

    Female, Age 23
  • The Refuge Center helped me with my bullying, talking to more people, and making new friends.

    Male, Age 11
  • I first came to The Refuge Center to get some help for my teenage son who was facing difficult challenges and crucial life choices. Not only did my son make a great deal of progress, but I also realized that doing some intensive work on my own issues was imperative. With my counselors help, and the use of EMDR, I was able to face the deep seated wounds that I had held from an extremely traumatic childhood.  I overcame the fear, anxiety, and intimidation that held me back for a lifetime. For this I am deeply grateful. The changes that I am experiencing are wonderful.  I finally feel like I am becoming free to be the person I was always meant to be.

    Male, Age 40
  • I walked into The Refuge Center as a shell of a woman, unaware of any strength left within me. Through the patience, compassion and sensitivity of my counselor, I slowly found healing and redemption in my story. My counselor helped me make sense of every emotion and pain I was experiencing and allowed me to be honest. My counselor walked through the trenches with me, and by God’s grace I have emerged as a new, strong, healed and whole woman. I have discovered great freedom and joy in this journey and I am eternally grateful to those at The Refuge Center.

    Female, Age 24
  • I feel as though this has been the most helpful therapy I have ever received. I now have direction, hope, and alot of goals to work on. My counselor is a great therapist. I would definitely recommend him. It has been hard work, and there is more work to be done, but now I know where I am going.

    Male, Age 24
  • I am forever indebted to The Refuge Center.  As someone who has experienced horrific childhood trauma, there were many times when there seemed to be no hope for healing.  With the level of counseling I really needed, there would have been virtually no way to afford therapy.  Due to the sliding scale fees that The Refuge Center offered, I was able to get the help I needed. Counseling was not new to me, as I had participated in counseling over ten years in my adult life, but still was suffering from the past trauma.  In less than a year of therapy at The Refuge Center, I was able to experience more break throughs than those other ten years combined.  My healing will enable me to be a better father and husband and so much more.  I am so thankful for the care I was able to experience and only wish more people could experience the same!

    Male, Age 40
  • The Refuge Center has given me peace during a chaotic time in my life. My counselor that worked with my daughter was amazing. She really helped resolve some issues and helped us both get back on the path of healing. I’m very thankful that they offer a sliding scale which made the sessions very affordable. The Refuge Center I would definitely recommend to someone that needs counseling.

    Female, Age 45 (daughter age 12)