It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Ottawa-area hockey fans.
The opening puck drop at the 2009 IIIHF World Junior Championship is just two weeks away and Eugene Melnyk, the chair of the host organizing committee, wants to share the occasion with as many youngster as possible.
Melnyk is urging all WJC ticket package holders to donate their unused ducats to the Tickets For Kids program, which will give less fortunate children the opportunity to take in a game during the Dec. 26-Jan. 5 championship. Some 3,000 tickets have been contributed to the program already.
"The 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship will mark a new milestone in Ottawa's history as the largest sporting event to ever be hosted by our great city," said Melnyk, also the owner of the Ottawa Senators. "With such an historic event, it is important our community makes every effort to ensure those less fortunate also have the opportunity to share in the thrill and excitement of the world juniors.
"So today, I'm asking all package holders to help make dreams a reality by donating their unused tickets to the Tickets for Kids program."
Senators centre Dean McAmmond, a member of Canada's gold-medal team at the 1993 WJC in Sweden, agreed the program provides "a great opportunity" for young fans.
"I know from when I played in Sweden that it's a big event," said McAmmond. "It was 16 years ago for me and it was just young guys, up and coming, and they've got their whole careers in front of them. Those are the young guys that these kids will be watching in the future and it will be great to come and see them play (at the world juniors)."
Tickets are being donated for use by local minor hockey teams and children's charities. Package holders can drop off any unused tickets at Gate 2 reception on the lower level of Scotiabank Place or mail them to Attention: Tickets for Kids program, 1000 Palladium Drive, Kanata, Ont. K2V 1A5.
For more information about the program, click here