The resounding success of the inaugural Ryan Ellis Charity Golf Classic and auction in June led to the redevelopment and grand opening of a community playground in Hamilton, Ontario, this week.
Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis hosted a golf tournament and auction on June 27, raising more than $30,000, which was then used to revitalize a portion of Andrew Warburton Memorial Park in the Canadian city where the blueliner grew up.
“It’s my turn to help out and help the kids and the community,” Ellis said earlier this year. “The city is putting a lot into re-establishing itself, and it’s becoming one that people want to be in. I want to help build something that will aid kids’ development and be fun for everyone involved.
“Growing up in Hamilton, it’s about giving back to the city and the people who raised me, and brought me to where I am today. The city itself is doing a great job of making a comeback and putting a lot of money into the city. Our focus is going to be creating safe environments for children to play in. We want them to have a fun and safe place and develop into someone that appreciates the city and is a successful part of it.”
Ellis’s foundation, Elly 4 Kids, was the catalyst behind the donation, and he says the golf tournament and playground build will not be a one-time event. Elly 4 Kids has already selected the spots where they want to establish new playgrounds for the next two years.
In addition to the golf tournament and auctioning autographed NHL memorabilia, Elly 4 Kids also raised funds by selling a trip to Nashville in early December to take in two Predators games and tour Music City with Ellis. The sale of the one-of-a-kind trip represented a sizable portion of the funds Elly 4 Kids then turned around and donated back to the Hamilton community.
Below, scroll through photos (all courtesy of Elly 4 Kids and IM Studios) from the golf tournament in June and playground opening in August. Ellis was joined by Preds teammates Austin Watson and Ryan Johansen at the golf outing; former Predators forward Scott Walker also hit the links.