Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place, announced today that for the seventh consecutive season since taking ownership of the club, the Senators will honour the Canadian Forces on Saturday, Oct. 30, when the Boston Bruins visit Ottawa.
The Senators will host the seventh annual Canadian Forces Appreciation Night for more than 3,500 Canadian Forces members and their families. Canadian Forces Appreciation Night corporate supporters provided more than 1,000 tickets and another 600 were received from the Ottawa Senators Tickets for Troops campaign, a program through which Senators season-ticket holders and employees donate their game seats to members of the Canadian Forces. Senators Sports & Entertainment has supported the program by donating an additional 1,800 tickets.
“The Senators organization is based in the nation’s capital. We take great pride in that reality and we strive to connect ourselves closely with organizations that truly define what it means to be Canadian,” said Melnyk. “There is no group that better defines this than the courageous men and women of our Canadian Forces. On Saturday, we salute all of them for their bravery and professionalism in serving our country with honour and distinction.
“I am very proud to have initiated this salute to our Canadian Forces over seven years ago. It is especially gratifying that all five other Canadian NHL teams have followed in our footsteps and have initiated similar recognition programs to honour our military. Leadership is the hallmark of any well-managed organization and the thought of the Ottawa Senators and our fans taking this lead is particularly gratifying.”
"I would like to thank the Senators for their tremendous support of the men and women of the Canadian Forces and their families," said General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff. "It means so much for our folks to be recognized right in their own community. I know that many soldiers, sailors, airmen and women who are deployed will be watching the game and appreciating the fact that, through the Ottawa Senators, Canada is showing that it cares."
In January 2008, the Sens Foundation, in partnership with corporate supporters of Canadian Forces Appreciation Night and the Military Families Fund, established an endowment fund that will provide scholarships to Canadian Forces members and military family members, so they can attend one of the three Algonquin College campuses in Ontario. In partnership with CF Appreciation Night corporate supporters and the province of Ontario, more than $560,000 has been raised to support further education.
"Canadian Forces Appreciation Night is our way of saying thank you to the men and women who serve our country so courageously. The night and game have become an important tradition at Scotiabank Place and is one that all of our fans, players and organization looks forward to," said Cyril Leeder, president of Senators Sports & Entertainment.PRE-GAME ACTIVITIES:
In honour of the Canadian Forces Appreciation Night, Senators players will be wearing camouflage warm up jerseys that will later be auctioned via http://www.meigray.com/ with proceeds being donated to the Military Family Fund.
The Canadian and American national anthems will be performed by Captain Martin Teft, who will be accompanied by 20 members of the Canadian Forces Central Band. Leeder will be joined for the ceremonial face-off by Gen. Natynczyk and Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, chief of Maritime staff and commander of the Navy; and Young Sailor-Ordinary Seaman Tara Hart.IN-GAME ACTIVITIES:
The Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency will operate a kiosk on the arena’s 200 level, selling Support our Troops merchandise.
During the first intermission, Petawawa Timbits teams will participate in a hockey face-off. During the second intermission, nine Canadian Forces hockey players from the army, navy and air force will compete in the Hockey Country showdown skills competition. During the second period of the game, one student from the Military Families Fund Endowment will be introduced. IN OUR COMMUNITY:
Scotiabank, a gold-level supporter of the seventh annual Canadian Forces Appreciation Night and the Military Families Fund – Sens Foundation Endowment, will collect donations in its eastern Ontario branches until Nov. 30.
To make a donation, fans can visit any local Scotiabank branch or www.sensfoundation.com .
RED GEAR, RIBBONS AND T-SHIRTS:
Fans attending Saturday’s game are being encouraged to wear red in support of the troops, while Senators players will be sporting a Support Our Troops ribbon on their helmets. The Sens Store at Scotiabank Place will be selling specially produced camouflage replica jerseys for $120, camouflage T-shirts for $25 and pucks for $10. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Military Family Fund. CANADIAN FORCES:
The Ticket for Troops program honours Canadian Forces members for their dedication to our country. More than 3,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel are deployed overseas on operational missions. On any given day, about 8,000 Canadian Forces members — one third of its deployable force — are preparing for, engaged in or are returning from an overseas mission.CORPORATE SUPPORTERS:
Corporate supporters include Algonquin College, Boeing Canada, Bombardier, Force Protection, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Scotiabank, Thales Systems, Direct Energy, IBM, Oracle, Logistik Unicorp, Microsoft, Via Rail, Top Aces, Curtiss Wright, Nasittuq, CAE, DEW Engineering, ADGA, H&K, DRS, L3 Canterra Solutions, Elbit and Titus.