OTTAWA - For the second consecutive year, Eugene Melnyk and his family, in partnership with the Children and Youth Friendly Ottawa (CAYFO), hosted 100 underprivileged children today at the Corel Centre.
The participants were personally greeted by Eugene Melnyk and his family before kicking off the festivities with a holiday luncheon at the Silver Seven Brewhouse at the Corel Centre. The kids then took part in the annual skate at the Corel Centre. Before jumping onto the ice, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus presented each participant with early Christmas presents, including a Senators jersey, a Senators helmet, a brand new pair of skates and a Sens lootbag - all compliments of the Melnyk family. Sparty, the Ottawa Senators mascot and ambassador of fun also joined in the festivities.
"In the spirit of the holidays, it is important for my family and I to give back to the community and to provide these children with an opportunity to experience the thrill and joy of skating," said Eugene Melnyk, Ottawa Senators and Corel Centre owner. "Skating is such a Canadian tradition, so every child should have an opportunity to experience it. This is my family's way of wishing these children a very happy holiday season," he added.
"The true spirit of giving is when we provide a young person in need with the opportunity to do something that so many children take for granted," explained David Millen, CAYFO executive director. "Some of the young people who received skates from Mr. Melynk and his family have never owned anything new in their lives and many have never skated at the local rink or arena. At Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, we are happy to play a small part in such a generous program."
"Mr. Melynk provides a dream come true for those children living in our city who are without skates," said CAYFO honorary chair Max Keeping. "It was truly special to see the reaction of the children as Mr. Melnyk handed each a new pair of skates, new helmet and Senators jersey. These are moments that will stay with these children for a lifetime."
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 also spearheaded innovative anti-bullying and victimization projects, helped children at risk, bridged the generations, promoted partnerships, encouraged young people to excel and celebrated this excellence.
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