by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators Alumni have promised $500,000 to the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club in support of Camp Smitty. The announcement came from alumni president Brad Marsh, a former defenceman with the Senators, on Friday at Scotiabank Place.
"Our alumni has done a lot of great things since it was formed in 1992," Marsh says. "It's time to move on to some deserving kids and send them to camp. We're very excited about it and very excited to be able to do something to honour Brian Smith."
Camp Smitty, which is operated by the Boys and Girls Club, is a non-profit residential camp offering a beautiful lakefront setting, fantastic staff and dynamic programs for campers ages eight to 15. The late Brian Smith was a sports broadcaster for CJOH in Ottawa.
Boys and Girls Club president Bill Colby is thrilled the Senators alumni have jumped on board to help make the camp available to children.
"This is absolutely fantastic for our camp," Colby says. "This money coming in will take it from mediocre to great. One of our counsellors told me, give me a kid for 10 days and I'll change his life. We really make a difference and the camp is going to be a real central location for us. It's because of Brad Marsh and the alumni that this is possible. I can't say thank you enough. We're going to be a state-of-the-art camp."
Currently, renovations are being done to one of the cabins at Camp Smitty to winterize it and make it available for children to visit 12 months a year.
The first initiative planned by the Senators alumni to raise the $500,000 is the inaugural Ottawa Senators Alumni charity hockey tournament from Nov. 17 to 19 at the Bell Sensplex in Ottawa. The three-day event will be highlighted by a special Hall of Fame Reception on Nov. 17 with guests including former Buffalo Sabres French Connection Line members Gilbert Perrault, RenÃ© Robert and Richard Martin; Marcel Dionne, the fourth leading scorer in NHL history with 731 goals; as well as the entire Senators alumni team.