Neal Shine Award

Ken Daniels, Co-Founder, The Jamie Daniels Foundation; Play-by-Play Announcer, Detroit Red Wings

Neal Shine Award for Media Commitment

Nominated by: Hope Network

Hope Network, a leading provider of mental health and substance use disorder services in Michigan, is very pleased to nominate Ken Daniels for the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Neal Shine Award for Media Commitment in Philanthropy.

Ken Daniels is a legendary play-by play announcer for the Detroit Red Wings. He has spent 19 seasons as the voice of the Red Wings and prior to that, he spent 12 years as a sportscaster with CBC Sports. In 2002, Detroit Free Press readers named him the area’s best Play-by-Play announcer. In 2006, he won his first Michigan Emmy award for excellence in television play-by-play and in 2003 and 2010, Ken was named Michigan Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Also in 2010, Ken received Detroit Sports Media’s Ty Tyson Award for excellence in Sports Broadcasting. In the spring of 2013 Ken was named “Top Sportscaster in Michigan” in a Detroit Free Press poll.

In December 2015, the Daniels family’s lives changed with the tragic death of Ken’s son Jamie. Since then, Ken has made it his mission to improve recovery services, especially for those addicted to Opioids. He established the Jamie Daniels Foundation to provide support and resources to individuals and families facing substance use disorder (SUD). It is safe to say that no local media figure has used their platform as much as Ken has since 2015 to raise attention to the challenges faced by those suffering from SUD. He has leveraged his celebrity and media profile to generate support for those in need and their families. He has also brought attention to the predatory business practices of some for-profit recovery centers.

Ken should also be applauded for the significant work he has done in developing an understanding of the business of philanthropy. Rather than focusing on building a personal legacy, he has partnered with the Children’s Foundation to provide administrative support, management, and fundraising resources to the Jamie Daniels Foundation. This ensures that the charity is managed according to best practices and allows Ken to focus on his advocacy around SUD and raising financial support.

Hope Network has known Ken and his family for many years. He has supported our events and we continue to work together to find opportunities to support individuals and families facing substance use disorder. We believe that few figures in sports or media have provided the kind of leadership that Ken has on one of the most important and devastating issues facing our community.