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Sens Foundation donations hit new peak

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
The generosity of the Ottawa Senators has brightened the lives of some 32 local charitable organizations.

At a special event held at Scotiabank Place on Monday, the Sens Foundation announced its largest one-day donation ever -- $840,000 toward various community groups from across Ottawa-Gatineau and the Ottawa Valley.

“It’s something fantastic for us to be able to give back to so many great organizations,” Roy Mlakar, the president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place, said during the event Monday. “We’re second only to the United Way (in Ottawa) in what we do as far as (local) fundraising is concerned.”

The Sens Foundation, which was launched in October 1998, and the Senators have contributed more than $35 million toward community initiatives since Eugene Melnyk assumed ownership of the team in 2003. Monday’s announcement pushes the organization closer to its goal of $50 million.

Thirty-two organizations were represented at Monday’s beneficiary day, with a number of children who’ve been assisted by Sens supported charities also on hand. The Sens Foundation targets organizations that service children and youth in eastern Ontario and western Quebec with its direct financial aid.

Sam Graham, a 13-year-old from Pembroke who receives care at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, spoke for everyone in attendance when he said “thanks for all the money you’ve raised. It does a lot for families all over.”

Among the donations presented on Monday: Roger's House, $250,000; CHEO Foundation, $175,000; Easter Seals Ontario, $66,000; Ottawa Special Olympics, $29,000; Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation, $25,000; Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation, $25,000; Carleton Place and District Youth Centre, $20,000; Centre Espoir de Gatineau, $20,000; Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, $20,000; Ottawa Fire Services, $20,000; Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa Carleton, $18,500; Scouts Canada - Ottawa Chapters, $17,500; Candlelighters Childhood Cancer, $15,000; Spectrum Intervention Group, $15,000; Champions For Children Foundation, $10,000; L'Arche Agapè, $10,000; National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, $10,000; Neuroblastoma Reseach, $10,000; Operation Go Home, $10,000; Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, $10,000; Little Troopers Foundation, $8,000; Clifford Bowey Public School Foundation, $7,500; Junior Achievement Ottawa Carleton District, $7,500; Canadian Diabetes Association, $5,000; Children At Risk, $5,000; LiveWorkPlay, $5,000; Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre, $5,000; Pediatric Liver Foundation, $5,000; South Nepean Autism Centre, $5,000; Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, $5,000; Madawaska Valley Ass’n for Community Living, $3,000; Ten Oaks Project, $3,000.

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