When Ottawa Sun columnist Rick Gibbons asked me this morning for my take on the pending divorce between the Sens and the Sens Foundation… well, this is what I wrote back:
I was shocked when I found out what was going on, Rick. The Sens are abandoning Rogers House, Rink of Dreams and 25+ years of good works? After I heard the news, I found it hard to concentrate the rest of the afternoon ☹ It would be like me divorcing my 5-kids, which I’d NEVER do.
I did a piece on Sam Laprade’s 1310 radio show last week. To the best of my recollection, we created the Foundation in 1992/93 with help from my sister Brenda Firestone and Sens attorney Jean-Antoine de Lotbinière (de Lobe) Panet, who was then at https://perlaw.ca/ and later became Justice Panet. He has since passed away. He was a great man. I’d have to look at the original corporate documents to understand how this can be happening. De Lobe was smart—he would have anticipated every eventuality, I am sure of it, except maybe this one.
The Foundation like the original Sens junior fan club (now Sparty’s Cub Club) are, to me, essential building blocks for the team. They help build a bridge of trust between the hockey team and the community.
The inspiration for the Sens Foundation came from what I learned in conversations with Vancouver owners, Frank Griffiths and his son, Arthur, a generation ago about what the Canucks did with their foundation, which, I believe, was one of the first in the NHL.
One of the young fans I follow on twitter (a really smart guy, Graeme Nichols, https://twitter.com/6thSens) suggested renaming the foundation after Alfie (former Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson), if he’d agree. I think this could have legs.
Lastly, to me, this report appears to be bogus: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-sens-foundation-charity-dollars-1.4887326. Former Sens president Cyril Leeder told me a few years ago that the actual long-term average for fundraising efficiency was around 78% or 79% over a 25+ year period. Our original goal was to be 80% efficient in terms of getting $$$ out the door for good works.
Be well everyone,
ps asking the foundation to respond to an RFP to continue their relationship with the team after July 31st, 2020 is like asking your wife (husband or life partner/significant other) to reapply to remain in the marriage. Not bloody likely to go over too well… or, as the Brits say, “Barking madness,” IMHO.
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