A group of youngsters from Charles H. Hulse Public School and Brother Andre Catholic School in Ottawa were chosen to take part in the latest edition of this annual event, which was held earlier today.
The children were welcomed to Scotiabank Place by Melnyk, treated to special lunch and then the group took to the ice for an afternoon skate in advance of tonight’s Senators matchup with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Melnyk, along with Stuntman Stu, Spartacat and members of the Ottawa Senators alumni, presented each participant with a Senators jersey, a helmet and a brand new pair of skates — all generously donated by the Senators owner.
“When I started the Skate for Kids event eight years ago, I wanted the event to serve as a small gesture on my part to bring some excitement and happiness to deserving children in our community,” said Melnyk. “In every young person’s life, we strive to provide unique opportunities and build memories that will last a lifetime. That’s really what today’s skate is all about for me.”
For many of the children participating in today’s Skate for Kids, it was their first opportunity to own a pair of skates and to take part in one of Canada’s favourite winter pastimes.
“I look forward to this skate every year. It is one of my highlights,” said Melnyk. “I’m sure it is a dream come true for these enthusiastic youngsters to have the opportunity to skate on the same ice as their Senators heroes. And every year, when I see their beaming smiles, I realize it is dream come true for me as well.”
CAYFO is a dynamic not-for-profit youth organization that has focused its attention on providing the best services to the young people of Canada’s capital city since 1997. It strives to promote youth engagement and volunteering, and manages some of the best youth awards programs, youth leadership programs and conferences in Canada. The group has spearheaded innovative anti-bullying and victimization projects and has helped children at risk. CAYFO has also bridged generations, promoted partnerships, encouraged young people to excel and celebrated this excellence.