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Senators set to welcome more than 3,000 Soldiers and their families

14th Annual Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night to take place on Thursday

by Sens communications @Media_Sens / Ottawa Senators

OTTAWA - Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre, announced today that for the 14th consecutive season, the Senators will honour the men, women and families of the Canadian Armed Forces on Thursday, Nov. 2, when the team hosts the Detroit Red Wings.

More than 3,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families will attend this year's event on behalf of Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night corporate supporters, season-seat members, Eugene Melnyk and the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. Mr. Melnyk and the Senators have hosted more than 30,000 members of the Armed Forces and their families since the program started in 2004. In acknowledgment of Mr. Melnyk's long-time support of the Canadian Military, on Jan. 14, 2015, he was named the honorary colonel of 414 Electronic Warfare Support Squadron during a ceremony in Ottawa.

"It's a privilege to be able to host over 3,000 Canadian Forces members and their families for the 14th consecutive year," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "It's truly a community event that we look forward to each season and we hope this one night dedicated to service shows all Canadian Forces members and their families how much we respect and appreciate their bravery and commitment to keeping our country safe".

"On behalf of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, please accept our gratitude for the support and appreciation shown to us by the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and their loyal fans," said General Jonathan H. Vance, chief of the defence staff. "It is our honour and privilege to serve."

Since 2008, the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and its Foundation, in partnership with corporate supporters of its annual Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night, has been investing in programs to support Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) serving members, veterans and their families. More than $825,000 has been invested in:

- The establishment of the Military Family Fund-Sens Foundation Endowment Fund that has awarded 196 CAF members and their families a bursary to attend one of the three Algonquin College campuses in Ontario; and

- Generating important awareness for more than 2,400 veterans sleeping on Canadian streets on any given night while investing funds to support the issue of their homelessness.

Funds raised as part of the Nov. 2 CAF Appreciation game will benefit Support Our Troops to specifically support family resiliency projects like summer camp and post-secondary school bursaries for dependents of CAF members. Support Our Troops is an official qualified donee of Her Majesty in right of Canada for the CAF community. It was established to meet the unique needs and special challenges faced by members of the CAF community as a result of military service. It provides a platform to allow a range of supporters to show their care, compassion and support to serving members, veterans and their families.

PRE-GAME ACTIVITIES: Senators players will be wearing special camouflage jerseys during warm-up that will be signed and later made available via auction with proceeds going to Support Our Troops.

Fans are asked to be in their seats for the opening of the pre-game ceremonies in order to witness a special puck delivery presentation and ceremonial puck drop honouring a member of the Special Forces Command. General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, will also be present.

CORPORATE PARTNERS: Corporate partners for Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night include Canadian Tire, Decisive Technologies, Thales Canada, Calian, Lockheed Martin, Scotiabank, Cisco, Algonquin College, Logistik Unicorp, Boeing Canada, Lepine, KPMG, Bell Helicopter, Accora Village and IBM.

TICKETS: For tickets to the 14th Annual Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night, please visit www.ottawasenators.com/tickets.

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