Ottawa Senators Foundation

Ottawa Senators Foundation

October 16, 2008 10:52 ET

Sens Foundation Distributes More Than $1 Million to Local Organizations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2008) - With its donation of $1,007,350 to 46 local charitable organizations today at Scotiabank Place, the Sens Foundation and the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club have contributed more than $50 million to community initiatives in the National Capital Region since the hockey club's return to the National Hockey League in 1992.

Among the organization's many accomplishments are the creation of Roger's House, a pediatric palliative and respite care facility, which is the legacy of Senators assistant coach Roger Neilson, and the construction of Bell Sensplex, the first public-private partnership of its kind that has played host to thousands since opening its doors 2004.

Launched in October 1998, the Sens Foundation provides direct financial aid to organizations within the eastern Ontario and western Quebec regions that service children and youth in the areas of education, health, and recreation. Today's beneficiary day featured the Sens Foundation, along with co-event fundraisers and corporate partners, presenting cheques to the following 46 local charitable organizations:

Beneficiaries - amount

Academie des retraites de l'Outaouais - $5,000

Algonquin College Foundation - $45,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington - $5,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County - $5,000

Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa - $12,500

Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Ottawa Chapter - $5,000

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Trust - $30,000

Carleton Place and District Youth Centre - $10,000

Centre de Formation en Entreprise et Recuperation de l'Outaouais - $15,000

Centre Espoir of Gatineau - $10,000

CHEO Foundation - $200,000

Children at Risk - $5,000

Christie Lake Community - $5,000

Community Development Council of Quinte - $5,000

Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre - $10,000

Easter Seals Society, Ottawa Chapter - $63,500

Education Foundation of Ottawa - $25,000

Espace Outaouais - $5,000

Fire Marshall's Public Safety (Wake up Ottawa) - $10,000

Frontier College Foundation - $5,000

Kanata Youth Centre - $5,000

La maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie - $20,000

La mie de l'Entraide - $5,000

Lanark Highlands Youth Centre Inc. - $10,000

Les Grandes Freres et Grande Sours de l'Outaouais - $10,000

Les Petits Dejeuners de la Soupiere de l'Amitie - $10,000 - $5,000

Max Keeping Foundation - $7,500

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Ottawa Chapter - $8,000

Muscular Dystrophy Canada - $10,000

New Beginnings for Youth - $12,500

OCRI, Ottawa Reads - $7,500

One Parent Families Association, Ottawa Chapter - $3,000

Operation Go Home - $10,000

Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre - $5,000

Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre - $10,000

Roger's House - $300,000

Ronald McDonald House of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario - $25,350

Rotary Centennial Playground - $10,000

Saga Jeunesse - $5,000

South Nepean Autism Centre - $10,000

St. Joe's Women's Centre - $5,000

The Little Troopers Foundation - $5,000

University of Ottawa Foundation - $15,000

YMCA-YWCA, National Capital Region - $10,000

Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa - $7,500

Giving back to Hockey Country

The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, along with its foundation and alumni, is proud to support initiatives in Hockey Country, which encompasses eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Not only have the Senators joined forces with established charities and foundations, but they have also implemented new and exciting events and programs to help make Ottawa a better place to live. Since 1992, $50 million has been invested in the community.

Sens Foundation

Founded in 1998, the Sens Foundation utilizes the unique resources of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of children and youth in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. During the 2007-08 hockey season, the Sens Foundation allocated more than $450,000 of in-kind items to local registered charities, assisting them in their fundraising endeavours. In addition, the Sens Foundation donated more than $1.8 million to many worthwhile charitable organizations, giving thousands of children and youth opportunities and services. The charity of choice of the Sens Foundation is Roger's House.

Foundation events were a big success last season. The 50/50 draws, held during Senators home games, awarded more than $645,000 to lucky fans. The Bell/Sens Soiree, presented by Samsung, raised $315,000 for a variety of children's healthcare institutions.

The Direct Energy Walk, Roll & Run for Roger's House engaged more than 1,000 participants, who raised $250,000. The Sens Foundation Telethon, presented by the OutCare Foundation and hosted by Rogers Sportsnet, made a late-game surge when Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk called in during the second intermission to make an unanticipated offer to match all telephone donations from that point until the end of the game. Melnyk ended up matching more than $25,000 in pledges to push the telethon's overall total past the one million dollar mark.

The Cheer for Charity program experienced tremendous growth in its second year. An amazing 3,500 hockey and event tickets from corporate clients and season-ticket holders were donated to the Sens Foundation. In turn, these tickets were donated to United Way/Centraide Ottawa and other charities. These donated tickets represent a retail value of more than $165,000 and provided hundreds of children and their families a chance to experience world-class hockey and entertainment at Scotiabank Place.

Roger's House

Named after the late Senators assistant coach, Roger Neilson, Roger's House was constructed with the objective of enhancing the comfort and quality of life for children living with progressive life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Featuring spacious and private rooms, along with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, Roger's House promotes the celebration of life and is providing pediatric palliative care, including respite care for children, youth and families, anchored in an innovative, family-centred, holistic approach. The concept of the building was met with great enthusiasm from Neilson when presented with the idea before he died of cancer at age 69 on June 21, 2003.

Roger's House officially opened on April 21, 2006, during a ribbon-cutting event attended by Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place owner Eugene Melnyk, Senators president and CEO Roy Mlakar, as well a host of other dignitaries. Many unique partnerships were forged in the building of the facility as more than 300 companies and organizations donated $2 million in goods, services and expertise to the construction. The Sens Foundation raised the remaining $2.5 million needed, and more than 75,000 individuals worldwide made contributions. In addition, more than 400 local community-based events helped raise $750,000. Neilson's former NHL teams - the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers - also made donations to Roger's House, as did the NHL and NHLPA.

The Sens Foundation is committed to raise funds to cover a portion of the annual operating costs of Roger's House. During the 2007-08 hockey season the Sens Foundation worked with nearly 100 local community-based events, hosted by families, schools, companies, and service clubs, in an effort to raise funds for Roger's House. In addition, the Sens Foundation received $175,000 from individual donors in support of Roger's House. In its first two years of operation, Roger's House has had over 440 admissions.

Senators in the community

It all starts with team mascot Spartacat. The Senators' ambassador of fun has averaged more than 375 appearances throughout Hockey Country over the last five years, bringing smiles and laughter to community fairs, hospitals, schools and hockey practices.

Boasting more than 1,000 atom- and peewee-level hockey games, the Bell Capital Cup tournament attracts thousands of people from around the world to Ottawa each December. The 2007 tournament set a Guinness World Record as the world's largest ice hockey tournament with a total of 510 teams, totalling 8,145 players, played in the record-setting tournament. Last year's Bell Capital Cup featured 489 teams from China, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the Ukraine, the United States, and Canada. As a major supporter of the event, the Senators have joined other local companies to help raise more than $1.4 million through the tournament for local minor hockey associations and charities. More than $200,000 was collected in 2008.

Each winter the entire Senators team spends a day with patients at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to spread holiday cheer. The interaction at CHEO isn't restricted to just one day, however. Players often stop by unannounced throughout the season to surprise the young patients with a visit.

Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk hosts the annual Melnyk Family Skate for Kids at Scotiabank Place each Christmas and donates skates, helmets and a Senators jersey to the underprivileged children participating from our region.

Other Senators programs dedicated to kids in the Ottawa area are T.E.A.M Hockey Country and Sens@School. T.E.A.M. is an acronym for the program's principles, values and objectives, which are together, educate, appreciate and motivate. Together, with the help of minor hockey coaches, teachers, parents, and administrators, the Senators educate youth to become better players, students and citizens, teaching them to appreciate and respect others, while motivating them to reach for their goals and dreams.

Team Hockey Country

The Chevrolet Future Sens program gives minor hockey teams the opportunity to play on Scotiabank Place ice prior to a Senators home game. Last year, 202 teams participated and more than 1,200 teams have been involved since the inception of the program in 2000. Each game features the same game-day production as the Senators, with Sens theme music, player introductions, national anthem, music between stoppages and the Via Rail horn when goals are scored.

Scotiabank Girls Hockeyfest is a joint venture between the Senators and the Ottawa District Women's Hockey Association that provides girls of all ages with an opportunity to improve their skills. Last year 260 girls participated at Scotiabank Place with special guest instructor Cassie Campbell on hand. The Esso Minor Hockey Festival - organized by the Sens, Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association, ODWHA and Hockey Outaouais - hosted 36 minor hockey teams. The Senators and Tim Horton's, along with the ODMHA, Hockey Outaouais and the ODWHA, have also presented Tim Horton's Coaches Clinics for the last four years. More than 3,700 coaches have participated.

Through the Skills First Challenge presented by Bell, players of all ages focus on individual skill development by competing in a variety of skill challenges. With the finals being held at Scotiabank Place, participants vie for the title of champion and the opportunity to compete alongside Senators players during the Sens Skills presented by Bell.


Initiated in 2003, Scotiabank Read to Succeed promotes active participation in the classroom and teaches the importance of reading, while generating excitement and providing classes the opportunity to win visits from Spartacat and Senators players, as well as Senators tickets. Last year, 54 classes in Hockey Country won a Sparty Party in their classroom as a result their participation in the Read to Succeed program.

Senators centre Jason Spezza began visiting classes in Hockey Country with the goal of teaching the importance of spelling, when Spelling with Spezza was introduced in January 2004. Each month, participating classes submit a list of students who obtained a perfect mark in spelling. The Senators and Spezza randomly choose 19 girls and 19 boys as winners of a pair of Senators tickets and a Jason Spezza poster.

Contact Information

  • Danielle Robinson, Sens Foundation, 613-599-0174
    Phil Legault, Ottawa Senators, 613-599-0327
    Brian Morris, Ottawa Senators, 613-599-0289
    Francois Marchand, Ottawa Senators, 613-599-0326