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Sens owner lends hand to Canadian athletes

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Eugene Melnyk has watched his Ottawa Senators rise to the top of their game on many occasions and now he’s helping to do the same for Canadian athletes.

The Senators owner is paving the way on Canada’s road to success at next year’s Beijing Olympics by joining forces with the Canadian Athletes Now Fund – a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising money and awareness for our athletes.

Melnyk donated $1 million to launch Patrons of Sport, a national campaign to raise money to support our athletes on the world stage.

“These athletes are at the top of their game,” Melnyk said Wednesday from Toronto, where he was joined by more than 100 athletes, coaches, parents and guests in making the announcement. “They are chasing big dreams of becoming a world champion, winning an Olympic gold and being the best in the world at their sport.

“Often there is a substantial cost and a very heavy financial burden to chasing these dreams. I know from over 25 years of business experience, one cannot achieve success without the help of others. These athletes need our help.”

Wednesday happened to be the start of the official one-year countdown to Beijing 2008 and Canadians are encouraged to follow Melnyk’s lead and contribute to our athletes. All donors, regardless of the size of their contribution, will be designated as a Patron of Sport. Donations can be made at or by calling 1-866-YES-2008. Funds go directly to the athletes.

“This national campaign is about letting our athletes know that an entire country is behind them,” Melnyk said.

“When these young Canadians wear the maple leaf and compete internationally, they instill an overwhelming sense of national pride and, in doing so, they remind us how sport can make a nation better.”

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