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Walk, Roll & Run for Roger's House

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
It’s about taking some healthy strides to help support a most worthy cause.

On Sunday morning at Scotiabank Place, the Sens Foundation presents its sixth annual Direct Energy Walk, Roll & Run for Roger’s House, presented by Scotiabank.

Sunday also marks the sixth anniversary of the death of former Ottawa Senators assistant coach Roger Neilson, in whose memory the pediatric palliative and respite hospice was built.

Since opening its doors in May 2006, Roger’s House has seen close to 700 admissions from all across Ontario. It is the charity of choice for the Sens Foundation, which has made a long-term commitment to cover a portion of the annual operating costs for the facility.

Walk, Roll & Run has raised more than $750,000 for Roger’s House since its inception. Given that $248,000 was raised last year alone, there’s a good chance the overall total could hit the $1-million mark this weekend.

This year, the event will benefit from the additional support of the CFB Petawawa Defence Team, which has launched its own fundraising campaign.

Captain Shawn Neville – who is stationed at the base – and his wife, Georgina, have benefited greatly from Roger House since it opened. They visit frequently to receive care for their two young children, Christopher and Gillian, both of whom suffer from the same rare seizure disorder. 

The facility, Georgina says, has been a godsend for the couple, who are the co-chairs for this year’s Walk, Roll & Run event. Their story offers a reminder of the importance of community support for Roger’s House, said Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson.

"Every day the Sens Foundation team hears stories of the great work that is being done at Roger’s House and the void that it has filled for families in our communities,” she said. “Families like the Nevilles, who are using the respite services of Roger’s House for their two children.

"Roger’s House is not a sad place. It is always filled with laughter and joy and the celebration of life. The contributions of our many event sponsors, donors and supporters ensure that Roger's House continues to be able to provide the very best in compassionate care."

Registration for Walk, Roll & Run begins Sunday at 8 a.m., with the event starting at 9:45 a.m. Participants can choose either the 5K Mattamy Homes route or the 2K Spartacat route.

For their registration fee – $25 for adults, $15 for students – participants receive an event appreciation kit, a barbecue lunch and access to the Fun Zone, which includes a number of interactive activities.

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