The children were welcomed by Melnyk and his family, then the whole group took to the ice for a holiday skate. Afterward, the children were treated to a luncheon in the Local Heroes Hockey Country Lodge.
The Melnyks, along with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Max Keeping, Spartacat and members of the Ottawa Senators alumni, presented each participant with early Christmas presents, including a Senators jersey, a helmet and a brand new pair of skates ? all donated by the Melnyk family. This year, in celebration of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, the Melnyks are also donating four game tickets to each child and their family.
“My family looks forward to this skate each and every year. We’re blessed to be able share in the incredible joy and spirit these children bring to this event,” said Melnyk. “It’s a very special time for my family and a wonderful way for us to officially kick off the holiday season.”
"Imagine - in this city - children who have never skated, because they don't have skates,” said Max Keeping, honorary chair of the Sens Foundation. “Eugene Melnyk and his family make it possible for these 100 deserving children to learn to skate safely. They also learn a life lesson about the generosity of the Senators owner to children and this community. He's a believer in giving every child a chance to soar.”
CAYFO is a dynamic not-for-profit youth organization that has focused its attention on providing the very best services to the young people of Canada’s capital city since 1997. It works on the promotion of youth engagement and volunteering, and manages some of the best youth awards programs, youth leadership programs and conferences in Canada. It has spearheaded innovative anti-bullying and victimization projects and has helped children at risk. CAYFO has also bridged the generations, promoted partnerships, encouraged young people to excel and celebrated this excellence.