Sun-soaked days at camp are a summer highlight for countless kids in Ottawa and Gatineau. But for many youth in the region, these programs are simply out of reach.
Since 2015, the Ottawa Senators Foundation has been striving to change that through its SENS Campership Program.
“We recognized there is a need in the community to assist families in overcoming financial barriers to giving their children summer camp experiences,” says Danielle Robinson, president and CEO at the Ottawa Senators Foundation.
The Ottawa Senators Foundation anticipates that once it allocates its 2019 SENS Campership Program funding that it will have invested more than $1.5 million since launching the program. That translates into nearly 250,000 days at camp for 6,800 kids from 36 different communities in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
“We’ve helped thousands of kids in those critical hours when they’re not at school,” says Robinson. “A week in a summer camp can be both life-enriching and life-altering.”
Stephen Pearson, program manager at the Lowertown Community Resource Centre, has experienced the benefits of the SENS Campership Program first-hand. His organization has received funding through the program since 2016. “Without the support of the Ottawa Senators Foundation and the SENS Campership Program, we wouldn’t be able to offer the summer camp that we do,” he says.
With the aid of the SENS Campership Program, Pearson has been able to increase the number of children his camp serves and enhance camp programming.
Last year, his campers enjoyed day trips to destinations such as Laflèche Caves, Mont Cascades and Parc Omega as well as experiences with the Ottawa Suzuki Strings music school. He’s hoping for a similarly funfilled summer this year.
“In the neighbourhood that we serve, a high percentage of the families are challenged financially and most live in subsidized housing. It’s important for the kids in this community to have positive activities for the summer; things that keep them active, things that keep them moving and get them out of their apartments,” Pearson says. “The SENS Campership Program is a great opportunity for local business and grassroot community events to partner with the Ottawa Senators Foundation to make an important difference in the lives of children and youth.”
Ottawa residents and business leaders can support the initiative in several ways. This includes making a direct donation through the website of the Ottawa Senators Foundation, buying a 50-50 ticket online or at one of the Senators’ home games, by attending one of the signature events of the Foundation or by hosting a community fundraising event of your own to support the Foundation and its SENS Campership Program.
“In our community there are thousands of kids who need our help and the Ottawa Senators Foundation is responding to some of those needs in a deep and meaningful way,” Robinson says. “Join us in being Game Changers for Youth.”
Bell/Ottawa Senators Charity Golf Classic partners with the Lumière Gala
Organizers behind two of the most popular events on the fall social calendar are teaming up to create a memorable day of networking, fun and fundraising.
The Bell/Ottawa Senators Charity Golf Classic, which offers participants the opportunity to hit the links with members of the local NHL team, was recently merged with the Brookstreet Hotel Lumière Gala.
After playing in the afternoon nine-hole tournament at The Marshes, participants will ride shuttles to the Brookstreet Hotel for an intimate evening of food, wine and fireworks at the Lumière Gala.
Registration information for the event, which takes place Sept. 10, can be found at http://bit.ly/Sens-Golf.