Hero's Ridge Reunion 2022-2023: A Heartwarming Celebration of Community and Heroes

September 22, 2023

Lépine’s newest apartment community in Kanata Lakes, the Normand, came alive this weekend as it played host to the 2022-2023 Hero's Ridge Reunion BBQ, an event hosted by Lepine Apartments, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Ottawa Senators. The day was filled with warmth, camaraderie, and heartfelt gratitude, celebrating the bonds that unite all Canadians.

Hero’s Ridge is an initiative born in 2015 from the premier partnership between Lépine Apartments and the Ottawa Senators. At each Ottawa Senators home game, a Canadian Armed Forces veteran and their family enjoy time together in Hero's Ridge - Lepine's 200-level box suite at Canadian Tire Centre. Together with our hockey fans, the crowd rises from their seats every night in a powerful moment of recognition to honour the more than 350 veterans who have been honoured guests in Hero's Ridge. The Royal Canadian Legion graciously supports this initiative by giving anyone the opportunity to nominate a Canadian Armed Forces veteran to be honoured during an Ottawa Senators home game. This event holds a special place in Francis Lépine’s heart, as he has a tremendous amount of gratitude for those who have put their life on the line for a greater Canada.

The reunion began with a sense of excitement as familiar faces and new friends gathered. Attendees knew that this day would be one to cherish. One attendee aptly described it as a "family reunion for the entire Hero's Ridge community," emphasizing the significance of reconnecting with old friends and forging new connections. One of the veterans in attendance, Butch Whitlaw, reflected on his experience at Hero’s Ridge saying, “It felt good to be able to enjoy the experience with my family. Having thousands of people on their feet cheering for you...words can’t describe it.”

One of the highlights of the event was the President's Address, delivered by Francis Lépine. Lépine emphasized, "Let us remember that the legacy of our veterans is not just in the history books; it lives on in our hearts, our communities, and the promise of a better future. Together, we will carry forward the promise of a true north, strong, and free Canada, ensuring their legacy shines brightly for all Canadians." Cheers erupted as these words resonated with the audience, reinforcing the strong bonds within the community.

Following the President’s Address, attendees had the opportunity to hear from Ottawa Senators alumnus Chris Phillips, and Stephane Guy, veteran and Zone G5 Commander of the Royal Canadian Legion. Phillips spoke of the Ottawa’s Senators’ longstanding relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces, saying, “Our relationship with Lépine is incredibly special and we’re fortune to be a part of each night at Hero’s Ridge. It’s great to see the well-deserved recognition for the veterans and their families and we’re excited to continue with the program.”

Guy contributed his personal reflections on the Hero’s Ridge program, saying “We commit to the service of Canada, and we do this without expecting recognition. But when we are recognized through Hero’s Ridge it is such an honour to stand in front of thousands of people. Thinking back to when I was recognized, I’m not an emotional person but I got emotional that day.” Anyone can nominate a veteran to be honoured at Hero’s Ridge. Visit a legion in your neighbourhood and request a nomination form.

Following the inspiring speeches, it was time for a savoury barbecue lunch provided by Fitz's Classic Grill BBQ Smoke House. Amidst the celebrations, attendees could embark on guided tours of the Normand community’s furnished model suites and explore the amenities such as the indoor pool, fitness centre, and yoga studio. Lepine’s modern apartment communities cater to individuals of all ages seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle and a secure living environment in vibrant neighborhoods across Ottawa. For those interested in experiencing the quality apartment living offered by Lépine, there's no better time than now to explore your options.

A collective sense of contentment enveloped the air as the clock ticked towards 2:00 PM. The Hero's Ridge Reunion had achieved its mission: bringing the community together, honoring its rich history, and paying tribute to the heroes who have indelibly shaped our lives.

As we reflect on the success of the 2022-2023 Hero's Ridge Reunion and the bonds that define our community, it's clear that Lépine communities offer more than just apartments; they provide a sense of belonging and security that complements the Hero's Ridge spirit.

Every hero has a story, and Lepine would love to hear yours. The Royal Canadian Legion graciously supports Hero's Ridge by giving CAF families the opportunity to nominate their loved ones to be honoured during an Ottawa Senators home game. Every Hero nomination is personally read by the Zone G5 Deputy commander of the Royal Canadian Legion and is reviewed by a committee of volunteers who vote to select the honourees recognized in Hero's Ridge.

For more information about Lepine Apartments and Hero’s Ridge, visit Lépineapartments.com or call 1-888-453-7463.

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