The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) has unveiled a Dave Semenko Legacy Project in honour of the former Oilers forward who passed away last year after losing his battle with cancer.
To help get the project up and running, the EOCF announced an initial investment of $325,000 to Sport Central in support of the project with financial support from the NHL and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams fund.
“Sport Central is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the celebration and to carry Dave’s name, memory and legacy for the next 10 years and beyond,” said Sheldon Oleksyn, Sport Central’s Executive Director.
The EOCF has also committed to fund two Sport Central initiatives over the next 10 years: Dave’s Drive and Put a Lid on a Kid.
Dave’s Drive will take place every year. It will serve as a call for equipment and funds to help kids play hockey. The Put a Lid on a Kid initiative has been around for a while but will have a whole new meaning with Dave’s legacy.
“Dave was such a big part of not only the team but also the organization. He loved playing here, he loved the city and the people loved him,” said former teammate Wayne Gretzky. “This is a great way to remember the team and to kick-start something that’s going to benefit a lot of kids down the line.”
“It’s a wonderful charity, but it would have been a lot better had he been here. It’s not the same without him here,” added Gretzky.
Dave’s teammates from the 1984-85 Oilers, members of his family and 13 kids and their families joined the EOCF and Sport Central for the announcement on Sunday.
“David fully appreciated what parents go through for their kids and this is all about helping parents get their kids playing,” said Dave’s brother Brian Semenko. “It’s very touching seeing David’s name on the kids, the sticker with his name on the helmet, it’s a little overwhelming, a bit unexpected but it’s an honour.”
Dave Semenko, along with his 1984-85 teammates, will be celebrated Sunday night at Rogers Place during the NHL Centennial Greatest Team Celebration.