(Edmonton, AB) - Casi Russell, wife of Oilers defenceman Kris Russell, and the Oilers Ladies will host a Toy Drive in support of the Central Alberta Advocacy Centre and CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health as the Oilers face off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, March 23, with help from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.
"Our goal with the Oilers Ladies Toy Drive is to team up with our generous and supportive fans to help bring some brightness to a child or adolescent`s life who has been faced with many challenges," said Casi Russell. "We also want to raise awareness for both the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre and CASA because they are organizations that offer hope, healing and help to children, adolescents and families suffering from abuse or mental health issues. Last year, players and Oilers Ladies donated toys to a few organizations and we were all overwhelmed by the emotional reactions of appreciation from our small contribution. We knew we could make this a much bigger and better initiative if we reached out to our community for help."
The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not-for-profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of todays most innocent and vulnerable - our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity.
"Since the beginning, the Edmonton Oilers have courageously stood behind our cause. It takes courage and bravery for a child to share their story of abuse, for families to bring their children forward, to believe, to listen without judgement and to seek justice," said Mark Jones, CEO of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. "It also takes courage from the community to rally behind these vulnerable children and give a voice to this often-silenced issue. From players giving their time by visiting our Centre and bringing items for the kids, to the entire organization being a part of our various fundraising events, the Oilers have played a crucial part in helping us build who we are today. Thanks to their gracious support, we have been able to support over 440 kids who have been impacted by child abuse from 54 locations across Alberta, including surrounding areas of Edmonton. Thank you to the players, their families and the organization for supporting the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre and helping us give back the promise and possibility of a healthy future to our children and our communities."
CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health is a major community-based provider of mental health and addiction services for infants, children, adolescents and their families in Edmonton and Central and Northern Alberta. CASA provides assessment and treatment services for approximately 4,000 infants, children and adolescents from birth to age 18 each year and currently has 18 programs that cater to their participants. Additionally, there are a number of specialty and outreach programs available for specific needs. CASA also provides a 19-bed residential treatment program (CASA House) for adolescents with significant mental health and/or addiction challenges, who have not benefited as expected from previous clinical interventions.
"CASA is extremely grateful for the support of Casi Russell and the Oilers Ladies. CASA always appreciates community support and the toys from this drive will be enjoyed by the children in our programs," said Nadine Samycia, Executive Director of the CASA Foundation.
The Oilers Ladies will be located at booths in Ford Hall and by the north entrance of Rogers Place to accept toy donations (Please note that stuffed animals cannot be accepted). For each toy donated, fans will receive one entry for a chance to win one of several autographed Oilers items. Oilers Ladies will also be accepting cash donations at these two locations, as well as at a booth on the main concourse behind section 107. For every $20 donated, fans will receive one entry for the draw. Winners will be announced before the end of the game.
To learn more about the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and its community initiatives, please visit OilersFoundation.ca.