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Sens Foundation takes big S.T.E.P.

$1.3 million donation supports Ottawa youth addiction treatment centres

Thursday, 10.23.2008 / 6:11 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Sens Foundation takes big S.T.E.P.
It's a fight of great importance in our community.

And thanks to the second-largest funding announcement in the Sens Foundation's 10-year history, the battle against youth addictions in Ottawa has gained a major boost. The $1.3 million donation announced Thursday will help support the establishment of two residential youth treatment centres, as well as school-based education and prevention programs.

A fundraising campaign for the project, titled Project S.T.E.P./Projet R.E.P.A. and supported by United Way/Centraide Ottawa, was launched in June with the aim of raising $6 million. The Ontario Liberal government is chipping in funding to cover the estimated $2.4 million in annual operating costs for the centres.

"Substance abuse and youth addiction in our community are growing concerns for us all," Senators and Scotiabank Place president and CEO Roy Mlakar, a foundation board member, said during a news conference announcing the donation. "As role models to so many young people in the community, the Senators players take the issue very seriously. Both management and players stand united in a message that we want a community free of substance abuse, especially among our young people."

Senators defenceman Chris Phillips and his wife, Erin, welcome the opportunity to become the campaign's "Ambassadors for Change, and will be active in a number of fundraising events in the months to come.

"Erin and I want to do our part in creating change," said Phillips. "It's about our children, the children and teens of our friends and teammates, our families, our neighbours and our community."

The Sens Foundation has partnered with Variety of Ottawa, an organization committed to assisting children in the community, to achieve its funding commitment. Variety has pledged to raise $300,000 toward that goal through its annual Variety Club Ball.

"The Senators players and team management, our corporate partners, the fans and charitable organizations we support all play a vital role in our success," said Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson. "It is with the support of organizations like Variety of Ottawa, our first official partner for this fundraising campaign, that we all succeed for our youth."

David Hamilton, past-president of Variety of Ottawa, called the partnership "a natural fit" for his organization.

"We are proud to support Project S.T.E.P./Projet R.E.P.A. and look forward to working together in our commitment to the youth of our community," he said.

Ottawa Police Chief Vern White applauded today's announcement, terming it "a shining example of community leadership and commitment."

"The Sens and its foundation have a tremendous impact on this city, and this gift will be truly felt in our community for generations to come," he said.

Project S.T.E.P. stands for support, treatment, education and prevention. Two facilities are being established to serve 13-to-17-year-olds and their families: A 15-bed facility at the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre in west Ottawa for English-speaking youth, and a five-bed centre to be operated by Maison Fraternité in east Ottawa for French-speaking youth.

Displaying the $1.3-million cheque (from left) are David Hamilton, past-president, Variety of Ottawa; Jean-François Milotte, chairman of the board, Maison Fraternité; Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson and Dave Smith, honorary president, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).




1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47


E. Karlsson 54 11 48 9 59
B. Ryan 53 19 26 -2 45
M. Hoffman 50 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 52 16 25 -10 41
M. Zibanejad 53 11 22 -1 33
K. Turris 48 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 54 13 10 6 23
Z. Smith 53 11 5 7 16
C. Ceci 47 5 11 -1 16
C. Lazar 49 5 9 0 14
C. Anderson 22 17 4 .914 2.86
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10