OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 19, 2014) - Eugene Melnyk, owner of Senators Sports & Entertainment, announced today that the franchise has surpassed the $100 million mark in community contributions to the National Capital Region since its return to the National Hockey League in 1992.
The Ottawa Senators (@Senators) together with its charitable arm, the Ottawa Senators Foundation (@sensfoundation), which was founded in 1998, have worked to raise and distribute funds that have enabled positive life changes for children in eastern Ontario and western Quebec in the areas of education, health care, sports and recreation.
"Investing more than $100 million in our community is truly a collective effort working with important partners that include all three levels of government, sponsors of the Senators, dedicated volunteers, all our employees including those at our Foundation, our local media and our generous donors," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "Today is about celebrating what we can all achieve by working together towards the greater good of community."
The $100 million in community contributions into the National Capital Region by Senators Sports & Entertainment includes more than $59 million in community projects, more than $25 million in contributions to charities and minor hockey and more than $21 million in community programs and in-kind donations.
The varied community accomplishments of the Senators include the newest milestone investment, the $26 million Richcraft Sensplex built in Ottawa's east end, which officially opened to the public on Aug. 5. This new facility is the second four-pad arena that Senators Sports & Entertainment has opened, joining Kanata's Bell Sensplex that opened in 2004.
As part of the Senators community commitments, the team will also officially kick-off its inaugural Summer Hometown Tour today, that will feature a caravan of Senators players making its way through Aylmer and Gatineau, Que., in addition to Arnprior, Barrhaven, Brockville, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Kingston, Pembroke, Rockland and Smiths Falls, Ont. The six-day tour will run from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21 and from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28.
The vast community contributions and activities have also allowed for more than 475,000 people (nearly half of the current Ottawa-Gatineau population) to participate in at least one Senators Sports & Entertainment philanthropic event.
In addition to the community investments made by Senators Sports & Entertainment, a University of Ottawa economic impact study completed earlier this year revealed that the organization and its partner companies contribute more than $204 million annually (direct and indirect) to Ottawa-Gatineau region. These results can be conservatively extrapolated to estimate that the club has generated more than $3 billion (direct and indirect) in economic activity for the region since the return of the Ottawa Senators to the NHL in 1992.
Highlights of the Senators community contributions
- The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and Ottawa Senators Foundation provide significant financial and social support to those who need it the most through contributions to Roger's House, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Queensway Carleton Hospital, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, CSSS de Gatineau and The Royal Ottawa Hospital. Additional initiatives and programs are also supported with smaller localized healthcare organizations who work tirelessly to make life better for those in need.
- The Senators have funded the local community RINK project with the Senators Rink of Dreams, located outside of Ottawa City Hall, acting as the first location.
- In addition to the Senators Rink of Dreams, the Senators have built two new Sens RINK projects in the community at Jules Morin Park and Bayshore Park, while six more - including one in Smiths Falls and five in Gatineau - have been committed to be constructed.
- The Senators have built and operate both the Bell Sensplex (opened 2004) and the new Richcraft Sensplex (opened 2014).
- Since the inaugural Eugene Melnyk Skate for Kids in 2004, more than 1,000 helmets and pairs of skates have been distributed to youth throughout the region, along with the special opportunity for children to skate at an NHL arena.
- This season the Senators held their Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night for the 10th consecutive season since Mr. Melnyk took ownership of the club. The Senators have hosted more than 20,000 members of the military and their families since the first Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Day. To date, $702,056 has been raised for the Ottawa Senators Foundation/Military Families Fund Endowment. This fund has awarded 124 bursaries to deserving students who want to further their educational pursuits.
- The Bell Capital Cup is recognized as one of the world's largest international hockey tournaments with more than 300 minor hockey teams, 5,000 participants and 25,000 spectators from around the world. The five-day tournament has an economic impact of $12-14 million for the National Capital economy every year and has contributed more than $2.5 million back to local charities and minor hockey.
- Senators Sports & Entertainment, along with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, over the past year alone has donated more than, 3,000 pieces of autographed merchandise, 45 luxury suites for hockey or concerts, 2,000 game tickets and 2,000 pieces of hockey equipment were collected during the 2013-14 season and provided to children in the Equipment for Kids Program.
- During the 2013-14 season the Ottawa Senators Foundation in partnership with Canadian Tire and the City of Ottawa, gave more than 535 kids aged 6-12 new skates, helmets and skating lessons in the I Love to Skate program. More then 1,700 children have participated in this program since its inception.
- This year, more than 10,000 participants benefitted from hockey programs, events and clinics hosted by the Senators and their partners including the Bell Capital Cup, Future Sens, Tim Hortons Coaches Clinics, Scotiabank Girls Hockeyfest, Canadian Tire Junior Sens Skills, Sens Alumni Clinics and Scotiabank Skaters program.
- More than 107,000 students and 1,300 teachers across eastern Ontario and western Quebec participate in the Sens@School program, while more than 1,200 students from greater Gatineau watched the Senators practice as part of Sens@School held at the Robert Geurtin Centre in Gatineau in 2013-14.
- The Longest Day of Play, a partnership with the Education Foundation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board challenges kids to get active for 60 minutes per day for 24 days leading up to the longest day of the year. During the inaugural campaign this May and June more than 4,000 students participated accumulating more than 240,000 hours of activity.
- During the 2013-14 season the Ottawa Senators Foundation contributed 30 per cent of the annual operating budget of Roger's House. The region's only pediatric respite and palliative care centre.
- Senators players, mascot, alumni and staff make more than 1,000 appearances in the National Capital Region each year.
Ottawa Senators inaugural Hometown Tour begins today
The Senators Hometown Tour was launched today and the Sens caravan and players will be stopping in Brockville and Cornwall today, before visiting Kingston and Smiths Falls on Wednesday, Aug. 20. While in Smith Falls, the Senators will break ground on their third Sens RINK project. The first leg of the tour comes to a close with visits to Arnprior and Pembroke on Thursday, Aug. 21.
Ottawa Senators Fan Fest - tickets on sale now
The Senators annual Fan Fest will return to Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, Sept. 27. The event will feature a Senators' intra-squad game, autograph sessions, two team practices, interactive games, a Senators' game-used equipment and jersey sale, fan press conferences and entertainment throughout the arena.
General admission tickets, which will include access to each of the event's components for the first time, for Fan Fest went on sale today at www.CapitalTickets.ca. The first 10,000 fans to purchase an event ticket will receive a redeemable voucher for a limited edition Kyle Turris bobblehead.
About the Ottawa Senators
One of seven NHL franchises based in Canada, the Ottawa Senators returned to the league in 1992 following a 58-year absence. Ottawa won 11 Stanley Cups during its original reign from 1903 to 1934. The modern-day Senators have captured four titles in the Northeast Division and a Presidents' Trophy in 2002-03. Since 1992, the Senators together with its foundation, alumni, partners and fans have now contributed more than $100 million to community initiatives in the National Capital Region. For more information, visit www.ottawasenators.com.
About the Ottawa Senators Foundation
The Ottawa Senators Foundation empowers children and youth to reach their full potential by investing in social recreation and education programs that promote both physical and mental wellness. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.sensfoundation.com.
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