At its core, hockey is game that’s played on the ice. One of the great things about covering National Hockey League clubs, though, is that they often show that it can be much more than that. Next week, when they host the Vancouver Canucks on February 27th, the Ottawa Senators will be holding their annual telethon to support the Ottawa Senators Foundation.
Something that struck me immediately when I re-joined HockeyBuzz to cover the Senators was the impact that the team’s foundation has on its community. The Senators truly are more than a team on the ice. Since inception, the Club, in partnership with its Foundation and Sensplex locations, has invested more than $110,000,000 in community initiatives.
The Ottawa Senators Foundation in recent years has focused on keeping kids active, helping them pursue post-secondary studies, and providing access to physical and mental healthcare. Wins on the ice are nice, but wins in the community like these have an even bigger impact.
The impact of the Club’s work in the community is far reaching. Last year alone, it welcomed 1,631 participants to its ‘Learn to Play Hockey’ program. It invested $400,000 in “camperships,” which in turn led to 287,686 hours of recreation for kids over the summer. It invested $125,000 in Project s.t.e.p., which helped to achieve tremendously positive outcomes with its addiction-related services. It provided thousands of dollars in bursaries to post-secondary students. It continued to support the wonderful work that Roger Neilson House is accomplishing on a daily basis. The list of initiatives supported by the Foundation is both long and meaningful. You can read more about that impact here
Of course, the great work that the Club and its Foundation does throughout the region wouldn’t be possible without the community’s generous support. Whether you’ve called in to the telethon previously, pledged through Bonk’s Mullet’s Sens Money on the Board, made an unsolicited gift of time or money in the past, attended a fundraising event, or spread the word about the mission of the Ottawa Senators Foundation among friends and family, you’ve helped make that list of triumphs happen. Thursday’s telethon is an opportunity to continue that tradition of support.
I encourage you all to like, share, retweet, and comment about the telethon in advance of Thursday, such that it can be as widely-known and successful as possible. I’ll be making a donation in support of the Foundation, and I hope that many of you will consider doing the same if you’re able. A successful telethon will undoubtedly be the most important win of the season for this organization, because it will allow the Foundation to continue to prove that hockey is much, much more than a game.
As always, thanks for reading.