Last night I received a beautiful picture from Brittany of a handful of the Sens “better halves” posing for our photoshoot with Faces Magazine before heading to treatment.
As I stared at the picture, I couldn’t help to look at each beautiful face in this picture. Each “better half” brings a genuine dynamic to our group.
Behind the scenes, the wives and girlfriends wear many hats; some are mothers, others have careers, numerous indulge themselves with charities, a few attend university/college, etc. The list goes on and on. All the ladies hold a lot of responsibility outside the hockey world that goes unseen that I personally would like to acknowledge. I will be featuring a couple of our better halves.
I want to recognize all of the girlfriends and wives. They actively participate in the Sens Foundation, helping with their events such as; DIFD, Sens Foundation Telethon, Hockey Fights Cancer, Valentine Cheo, Holiday Wrapping, and the Sens Soiree. Our group of ladies really love to help to Sens Foundation. Anything they give us we are happy to help them.
The Neil Family
In Ottawa, Cait Neil sits on the Sens Foundation board and Co-Chairs the Roger’s House with Chris Neil. They are actively involved in the community and host many charitable events that promote the Roger’s House. The loyalty and dedication to her family and community are admirable. She also helped organize “Hat Trick Speaker’s Series”. It brings together a group of women to talk and learn about different topics over three luncheons. Furthermore, Chris and Cait have participate in “We Day” speaking to children the difference others make in a community.
The Turris’ Family
Next, Julie & Kyle Turris are the spokesmen for The Capital City Condors. The Capital City Condors are co-founded by Jim and Shana Perkins. They promote special hockey teams for special people. Depending on Kyle’s schedule, he enjoys ice time with the kids on Saturdays. He was appointed the letter “C” for the The Capital City Condors. Julie has a BIG heart for the kids, and also donates her time to the cooking club at Boys & Girls Club and participates in many charity events hosted by the Sens Foundation. It definitely explain her genuine passion to major in Human Development and Family Studies. http://capitalcitycondors.org/wp2/
The Future Mr. & Mrs. Karlsson
Melinda Currey, Erik Karlsson’s fiance, spends a lot of time giving back in her native born community. She actively sits on the Caring and Sharing Exchange Board for the last four years. The Caring and Sharing Exchange Board raises money all year long to provide unfortunate families Christmas dinners. They have a hamper packing day where they make baskets with all of the sponsors and volunteers and deliver the meals personally to the families.
Next, Melinda is apart of the committee that hosts the Boobyball that helps raise money for breast cancer. https://boobyball.rethinkbreastcancer.com/ottawa/#/Home I personally was able to attend one of the Boobyball events, and it is definitely a fun night raising money for a wonderful cause.
Currently, Melinda is in the process of starting an anti bullying charity called “Can’t Dim My Light” which will emphasize on cyber bullying. Our captain, Erik Karlsson, also is apart of The Boys & Girls Club and “We Day”.
The Future Mr. & Mrs. Smith
In the offseason, Zack Smith holds an annual golf charity every summer for the Maple Creek Hospital. The fundraiser promotes shelter for teens providing a places to sleep. In addition, he also is the ambassador for cystic fibrosis for the 67 Roses Gala. His finance, Brittany, is a little motivator herself. She holds a bachelor degree in Commerce, Sociology, degree in Marketing, and holds a television broadcasting diploma.
Brittany is on the committee for the Maddy’s Gala. This is another fabulous Gala held in Ottawa to give back to help others. The Otto’s Family Mission is to keep Maddy’s spirit alive by raising funds to support Roger Neilson’s house in her honor. Jeanine, Dean, and Hannah hope this helps family who require palliative care can have resources available to them like they did for their family. Brittany really enjoys helping with this fundraiser and a lot of us girls love attending this charity event. http://www.maddysgala.com
The Phillip Family
Even though Chris Phillips & Erin Phillips have headed into retirement after 1179 games as an Ottawa Senator, their presence remains strong in our Ottawa Community. Collaboratively this selfless couple has dabbled in many events and charities.
In 2007, Chris and Erin became the ambassadors of Project Step Ambassador speaking to the youth regarding drug addiction and finding resources for youth in their region. Furthermore, Erin participated in Candlelighters, while Chris was active with Hockey Fights Cancer.
During 2009-2011, they were the Dragon Boat Ambassadors and participated in QCH Care Grows West Chair. This fundraising campaign helped the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation to expand the facility to address Ottawa’s growing population and need in the community. In 2010, this lovely couple again chaired the Snowsuit Fund Chair. They helped keep 90,000 children warm in the winter with providing new snowsuits.
From 2009-2014, Chris and Erin helped the Sens Foundation raise over 2.5 million helping with the 24H of Tremblant Ambassador. In 2012, they joined Project North Captain “Gear up”. This charity helped collect hockey equipment and deliver it to Canada’s arctic. Additionally, along with Neil and Karlsson, they participated in “We Day”. It is truly amazing during BIG RIG’s career the impact they made on the town of Ottawa.
The Phaneuf Couple
Since Dion and Elisha joined the Ottawa Senators, their leadership and veteran role has been a great fit with our team and the “better halves”. Dion and Elisha have been actively involved with the Special Olympics for the past nine years in Eastern Canada. Dion’s cousin, Conar, expressed interested in in becoming a Special Olympic athlete. The couple saw the joy and excitement it brought to Conar, and wanted to be involved too.
The Ryan Couple
Bobby & Danielle host the All-Star CHEO box at the Canadian Tire Center. This box provides kids of the various departments of CHEO to attend all the Senators home games. The kids are able to watch warms-ups, meet Sparty-Cat, and watch a hockey game. It also provides children to watch other special kid events.
Furthermore, Bobby in 2015 was an ambassador of the Special Olympics in Canada. Danielle & Bobby hold a special place in their heart for kids.
The Anderson Couple
The Anderson’s foundation is in the process of being organized. Of course, we are looking forward to raising money for cancer. Details for Fight 41 Cause will be coming in the future.