Sunday, April 01, 2007

Senators Come to Afghanistan Bearing Gifts

Senators' Gifts for Troops

What an awesome gesture... way to go Senators!! Thanks for your support of our soldiers serving overseas..... from family and friends.

Canadian troops in Afghanistan received a taste of home Sunday as the owner of the Ottawa Senators visited the base in Kandahar to deliver $50,000 worth of hockey equipment and 2,500 Tim Hortons gift certificates.

Photo Courtesy: CP

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk (right) shakes hands with Capt. Jim Bacon of Petawawa, Ont., wearing his new Ottawa Senators jersey in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 1, 2007.

Eugene Melnyk, wearing body armour and an army helmet, flew in Sunday on a C130 Hercules transport aircraft.
For the troops, many of whom play ball hockey as a pastime, Melnyk brought new goalie equipment, hockey sticks, inline skates, balls and NHL and Team Canada jerseys.
"They were overjoyed," CTV's Paul Workman said of the troops. "They're very passionate about their ball hockey on this base."
He said the players have such an emotional connection to hockey because it reminds them of Canada.
In fact, the sport is so popular that a league has been formed with 15 teams and 300 players who play two times a week.
"The equipment they used wasn't really the best and now they're outfitted in spectacular NHL jerseys, they've all got new gloves, the goalies have new pads," said Workman.
And, with their new equipment, Canadian troops managed to beat the American team 9-0.
Melnyk, a billionaire businessman, was scheduled to be on a business trip in Dubai and decided to visit Afghanistan first.
"As I was planning for the trip (to Dubai) I found myself paying more attention to the news and sacrifices that our Canadian troops are making for our country," he said in a news release.
"I want to bring a slice of Canadian hockey and Canadian coffee for our soldiers to enjoy in the few personal hours that they have when they're not on duty.
"I want to thank them for the sacrifice they're making and remind them that Canadians are safer because of their commitment."

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