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Sens Foundation gets an assist in fundraising drive

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Join Sparty at the Beer Store on Sept. 8 for the annual Returns for Roger's House fundraiser. Empties from tonight's Roxette concert at Scotiabank Place are also being donated to the cause (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club).

It's a fundraiser that everyone can join.

And while this event that truly makes a difference is set for Sept. 8, patrons of Scotiabank Place can get a head start in helping the eighth annual Returns for Roger's House bottle drive.

Scotiabank Place and ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, which manages the building's food and beverage outlets, have agreed to donate all empties from tonight's Roxette concert and the Big Time Rush show on Sept. 7 to the campaign. It's a key fundraiser for the Sens Foundation in its support of Roger's House, the group's charity of choice.

"Roger's House is a facility children and families rely on," John Thomsen, ARAMARK's district manager, said in pledging his company's support to the bottle drive. "We're proud to support the house and all the staff and programming that make a difference for so many in the community."

Since its inception in 2005, Returns for Roger's House has raised $280,000 in support of the region's only pediatric palliative care hospice. Some 74 locations of The Beer Store in the Ottawa area will participate in the bottle drive on Sept. 8, with each bringing their own creative flair to the day.

Events such as barbecues, raffles, live music and bake sales are often part of the day's fun, with some Beer Store locations also asking local restaurants to donate their empties. Last year, a girl in Perth took it one step further, saying she would shave her head if she raised at least $2,500. She wound up collecting $7,500 in donations.

The Sens Foundation contributes more than $1 million annually to the operations budget at Roger's House — a number that rises each year as a growing number of families seek out the facility's support. Funds raised by Returns for Roger's House go a long way toward ensuring Roger's House can continue to provide its world-class level of care and programming.

"The care Roger's House provides reaches so much further than here locally in Ottawa," said Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson. "The house provides care for families from across eastern Ontario and western Quebec. That care gets reciprocated every year from the Beer Store staff and communities from across the region who donate their time, enthusiasm and thousands of empties to ensure Roger's House will be there when children and families need it."

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