Sens Foundation: For Greater Goals

It’s the support from the community that has been the catalyst for the success of the Sens Foundation. That support, combined with the strength of Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, Alumni, corporate sponsors, and community partners has created an environment that has provided over $70 million in support back to the community since inception.

Established in 1998, the Sens Foundation is a registered charity whose mandate is to provide financial and in kind support to other charities in the Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec region with a focus on children and youth in the areas of health, education and sport and recreation.

Early in its establishment a prominent board of directors considered the direction the Foundation should take to benefit the community at large. Considering the benefits that could be achieved in the areas of children and youth, it was determined that three pillars would be created under which fundraising could conducted. These pillars later solidified providing the opportunity for strategic implementation of fundraising programs and initiatives.

Health Pillar
Roger’s House is the Sens Foundation’s charity of choice. This paediatric palliative hospice opened its doors in May of 2006 on the grounds of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Overwhelming support by the construction community and supported by donations from fans and corporate sponsors the hospice has allowed hundreds of children and youth and their families from across the province of Ontario to receive help. The legacy of Ottawa Senators coach Roger Neilson, the hospice provides a comprehensive paediatric palliative program with elements of outreach, residential hospice, pain and symptom management, grief and bereavement counselling and research. The Sens Foundation hosts two annual events in support of Roger’s House; the Roger’s House Telethon and Walk, Roll & Run for Roger’s House. The Foundation also provides support to hundreds of individuals and community organizations who host fundraising events for Roger’s House annually.

The Sens Foundation has also supported other healthcare institutions and programs in our region including the recent fulfillment of a $1 million dollar pledge to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Contributions have also been made in support of child and youth initiatives at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and CSSS de Gatineau Foundation. Much of this fundraising was raised through support from the Bell Sens Soiree Gala held each year. The January 2011 Soiree raised an astounding $360,000 and was attended by all the Senators hockey players and their spouses along with committed corporate sponsors and prominent members of our community.

Education Pillar
The Sens Foundation realizes the importance of providing our youth with educational opportunities. A number of endowments have been established at post secondary institutions in the region allowing for bursaries to deserving and underprivileged youth. With $1.674 million endowed at various educational institutions, over 250 bursaries valued at over $350,000 have been awarded to date.

In October 2008 the Sens Foundation announced its second-largest financial commitment in its 10-year history, a 1.3 million pledge in support of two Ottawa residential youth treatment centres. The fundraising campaign, entitled Project s.t.e.p., is the community response to addressing the need of residential substance abuse treatment, education and prevention for young people between the ages of 13 and 17. With the support of community partners such as 24h Tremblant and the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation, local champions and leaders, this campaign will raise the funds needed to support the development of a comprehensive substance abuse education and prevention program in our high schools, as well as provide specialized treatment and counselling in a 24-hour residential setting.

Making a difference in our community
Sport & Recreation Pillar; Keeping our kids active and engaged in healthy activities is a primary focus of the Sens Foundation and hockey club. An exciting new initiative for the 2010/2011 hockey season was the launch of the I Love to Skate program. In partnership with the City of Ottawa, Canadian Tire, and Canadian Tire Jumpstart, 400 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years were provided with new skates and helmets plus skating lessons by qualified instructors on rinks in their communities. The children were then invited to Scoitabank Place for a wrap up party where they were invited by local dignitaries to skate on the ice, and enjoy a snack and variety show.

Cheer for Charity
One of the most successful programs the Sens Foundation facilitates is the Cheer for Charity program where season seat holders, premium-seating clients and suite holders are provided an opportunity to donate their event or Senators hockey tickets. The Sens Foundation provides the donor with a charitable tax receipt for the value of the tickets, prior to taxes. The tickets are then provided to United Way/Centraide Ottawa to distribute to some of their 200 charitable community partners, 1,800 workplace campaigns and 14,000 volunteers.

To date more than 13,805 tickets with a value of over $1 million dollars have been donated, providing opportunities for many families in our community to attend an event at Scotiabank Place. CS
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