Less than 24 hours after the Ottawa Senators face off against the New York Rangers on home ice next month, the Canadian Tire Centre will be transformed into a safari-themed venue for one of the most popular fundraising galas of the year.
Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, the Ferguslea Properties Senators Soirée presented by Bell is one of the biggest black-tie galas on Ottawa’s social calendar and features incredible entertainment, delicious food and drink, an auction, networking opportunities and the chance to meet Ottawa Senators players and executives. Even more worthy of emphasis is the fact that it’s the Ottawa Senators Foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year.
The Foundation, which supports child and youth activities that enable physical and mental wellness through social recreation and education programs, would simply not be able to operate on the same scale without this event.
“As a hockey player ... you’ve always got to take the time to talk to kids and give back.”
Last year, the Soirée raised more than $300,000, which in combination with other fundraising activities, allowed the Foundation to help roughly 60,000 children in the Ottawa area. Brad Weir, the Foundation’s director of marketing communications and community investments, says he’s hopeful that this year’s safari-themed event will generate similar success.
“We strive to make every year better than the last,” Weir says. “Thanks to the support of our players, sponsors and guests, last year was one of our best. Hopefully this year we can raise even more because the number of children in our community who need our support continues to grow..”
The Senators Soirée is a great opportunity for community-minded Senators fans to give back. It also provides an unbeatable chance to get acquainted with the entire team, which Weir believes is particularly important during the current chapter of the team’s story.
Attend the Senators Soirée
When: Saturday, Nov. 23
Where: Canadian Tire Centre
“We have a lot of youth on our team; a lot of players that people don’t know,” Weir says of the current Senators roster. “This is a great chance for those guys to be able to meet the fans, and make a significant impact in our community.”
It’s an opportunity the players enjoy and a role they take seriously, says Weir – but don’t just take it from him. Retired Sens right winger Chris Neil says he and his fellow players, active or otherwise, all love this chance to give back.
“We’re blessed to play in a community that treats us unbelievably,” Neil says. “To be able to give back in that community and touch kids’ lives is awesome. “As a child, you have role models and people you look up to; people you follow and idolize,” he adds. “As a hockey player ... you’ve always got to take the time to talk to kids and give back.”
With a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, Weir, Neil and the entire Senators organization are optimistic that the team will pick up a victory against the Rangers on Nov. 22, and a crucial fundraising win at the Senators Soirée the following evening.
“There a lot of kids that need some help,” Weir says. “This event goes a long way toward reaching them. It’s a win for guests from many perspectives, but it’s also a win for so many kids across the region.”
How the Ottawa Senators Foundation makes a difference
When you attend an event such as the Senators Soirée, you’re helping the Ottawa Senators Foundation support many crucial initiatives in the community:
The Foundation aims to topple barriers like registration fees and equipment costs, making it easier for children to get involved in summer camp, sports, after-school programs, and more.
The Foundation funds 15 SENS Rinks, which provide accessible recreation and sport opportunities to kids across the region.
The Foundation has invested in educational initiatives directed towards youth, teens and young adults, such as bursaries and scholarships.
Physical and mental wellness
The Foundation supports charitable organizations focused on meeting the needs of families with children and youth suffering from various forms of mental health illnesses.
Roger Neilson House
The Foundation is an ardent supporter of Roger Neilson House, a pediatric respite and palliative care home for children.