Ottawa Senators launch new Senators Community Foundation
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have announced the creation of a new charitable foundation after the Ottawa Senators Foundation cut ties with club management.
The Senators Community Foundation will be the new charitable arm of the capital's hockey team, and will work with partners such as CHEO, Roger Neilson House and the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa.
Former Senators alternate captain Chris Phillips will serve as the foundation's executive director.
"The Foundation will be working closely with appropriate governmental agencies and charitable organizations to complete necessary registrations over the next several weeks to serve the needs of the Ottawa-Gatineau region by supporting Canadian charities and their worthy causes," the Senators said in a news release.
"We are extremely proud to have Chris Phillips lead our Foundation as he personifies what a community leader is all about," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in the release. "From being our first overall pick in 1996, to his 17 remarkable seasons that led to his jersey retirement earlier this year, he’s a natural fit for this role."
Phillips, the Sens longest serving player, has spent countless hours on the ice and just as many off, volunteering his time to help his community.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” says Phillips. “We’re certainly going to have to be creative but you know looking forward to anyway that we can make that happen to continue that great work that was done ... This brand and the team and alumni just bringing it all together I’m really looking forward to that.”
The event was held outside the Brewer Park COVID-19 testing facility where Spartacat and "The Big Rig" himself handed out bobble heads to children who received a test lifting their spirits during trying times.
Patrick Drouin was there with his daughter Audrey.
"I think it's a good way to get started," says Drouin. Audrey received a number four bobble head handed to her by Phillips. "To reach out and let people know that they're there and trying to make a difference."
The new Senators Community Foundation will continue to work with partners such as the Boys and Girls Club, Rogers Neilson House and CHEO.
Hospital CEO Alex Munter was at the event and says the hospital relies on the relationship with the team to help raise money for programs aimed to help children.
"We're really encouraged to hear this renewed commitment from the Senators," says Munter. "The relationship between the players and families they come and visit the hospital encourage the kids it's been a really important part of the fabric of CHEO and with Chris there we look forward to it continuing."
This announcement follows the rebranding of the former Ottawa Senators Foundation as the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation.
The Club-Foundation Agreement between the Sens Foundation and Capital Sports and Entertainment expired on July 31, 2020.