Ottawa (Jan. 27, 2012) – The National Hockey League (NHL), the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), the Ottawa Senators and Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine and his Companions in Courage charity today unveiled the new, state-of-the-art "NHL All-Star Legacy Playroom" at CHEO to commemorate 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, the League's midseason spectacular and the first held in Canada's capital.
Cisco is the presenting sponsor of the CHEO "NHL All-Star Legacy Playroom". The interactive space features the Cisco WebEx online conferencing system, which allows young patients to connect to family, friends, schools and teachers anywhere in the world during a hospital stay. Patients are also able to connect to other "NHL Legacy Playroom and Classrooms" such as CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal through WebEx for a collaborative learning experience during school hours and for fun, interactive games and other activities after school hours. A smaller satellite system has also been donated to Roger's House, the Sens Foundation's charity of choice.
"The National Hockey League is extremely pleased to join Pat LaFontaine, the Ottawa Senators, Cisco and the NHL Players' Association in contributing to the All-Star Legacy Playroom program. Long after the All-Star events conclude, this playroom will continue to make a difference in the lives of the children, their families, their friends and their classmates," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
"The NHL and its players are committed to giving back to the wonderful communities they represent. I can think of no greater legacy for the 2012 NHL All Star Game in Ottawa, than to leave this very special Lion's Den Room to the patients at CHEO and those special children at Roger's House. For years to come, these children in need will be able to connect to the outside world thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and the NHL," Pat LaFontaine.
"We realize the kids at the children's hospital and Roger's House go through some very difficult times, but we hope that the NHL All-Star Legacy Playroom provides a small escape for them and becomes a special place where they can just be kids," said Colin Greening, Ottawa Senators All-Star participant and NHLPA member, who was also on hand for today's unveiling. "The Players are very proud to be a part of the Legacy Playroom."
"CHEO is incredibly grateful to the NHL and the Senators Foundation for making this room available to the children and youths served by the hospital," said CHEO board chair Johanne Levesque. We serve a very large geographic area and the impact this playroom will have on our patients and families who come from all over eastern Ontario and western Quebec will be immense. It will help keep them connected to family and friends, who are often hours away from the hospital."
The Legacy Rooms were originally founded by theCompanions in Courage Foundation and LaFontaine. The Foundation has now opened 14 interactive playrooms/classrooms throughout North America, including four with the NHL and NHLPA in Calgary, Raleigh, Pittsburgh Montreal and Boston.
About 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend
The 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend comes to Ottawa, Canada's capital, Jan. 26 through Jan. 29. The excitement begins with the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy DraftTM on Thursday, Jan. 26, televised live on TSN and RDS in Canada and NBC Sports Network in the United States at 8 p.m., ET, from the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau-Ottawa, Quebec.The players take the ice in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitionTM, at Scotiabank Place on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m., ET, and for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL®All-Star Game, at Scotiabank Place on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m., ET. Live television coverage of both events will be provided by CBC and RDS in Canada and NBC Sports Network in the United States. Fans in the Ottawa area are encouraged to take part in the festivities at the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair™, a three-day fan festival at the Ottawa Convention Centre, Jan. 26-28. For the latest NHL All-Star news and exclusive content, visit NHL.com and its dedicated microsite for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL.com/allstar. Follow the NHL on Twitter (@NHL) and on Facebook (Facebook.com/NHL).
About the National Hockey League
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League's international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, ESPN America, NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and XM Canada) . Through the NHL Foundation, the League's charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.
About the National Hockey League Players' Association
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 12 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 25 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $20-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.
About the Companions in Courage Foundation
The Companions in Courage Foundation was founded by NHL Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine as a response to the inspiration he derived while visiting children in hospitals during his 15-year career. The organization builds interactive rooms and distributes mobile XBox kiosks in children's hospitals throughout North America. Through innovative communications tools, these rooms and kiosks replace the isolation of a hospital with a connection to family, friends, classmates and celebrities during their hospital stay. For more information, visit www.CiC16.org.
About the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), located in Ottawa, cares for children, youth and families in eastern Ontario, western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario. CHEO is a pediatric health and research center that provides outstanding family-centered patient care, pioneers breakthrough research, and trains the health care professionals of tomorrow. Over the past 36 years, CHEO has established itself as a world-class center providing leading-edge treatment, diagnostic and laboratory services for children and youth aged 0 to their 18 birthday.
CHEO has165 beds and more than 180 doctors, 600 nurses and 1,500 additional staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for the children and youth in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
CHEO is one of only a few stand-alone pediatric hospitals in Canada, and sees more than 6,000 admissions, 7,000 surgeries and more than 60,000 emergency visits each year.
About the Sens Foundation
Founded in 1998, the Sens Foundation utilizes the unique resources of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of children and youth in the eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
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