Fans high on Mile

ROB BRODIE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

It's been quite the playoff ride on the Sens Mile.

And there's a growing sentiment among fans and Mile organizers that the fun shouldn't stop when the Senators' current Cup run ends.

"We want to keep this going on a permanent basis, like Preston St. in Little Italy," said Cameron Bishop, whose Facebook group spearheaded the drive that created the Sens party zone. "This has really taken off ... fans are talking about how there's a real atmosphere there and they want to keep it going.

"We want to make this the place to be, on Elgin St. The fans have really fallen in love with it. What better second home for the Sens than the Sens Mile?"

SPONSOR ON BOARD

Bishop and his co-organizers, Shane Currey and Sarah O'Grady, have received a number of fan requests to keep the Mile going. They've already got a sponsor on board to help make it happen, and have the support of several Elgin St. bar owners.

Tuesday afternoon, they'll meet with city officials about the prospect of a permanent designation for the street. Already, there are red Sens Mile street signs -- erected by city workers -- at the corner of Elgin and Somerset. But Bishop doesn't want it to stop there.

He sees this as a chance to help out some worthy children's charities. Bishop has already been in touch with the local Children's Wish Foundation, and they recently set up the Elgin Fraser Memorial Fund, for neuroblastoma research at CHEO. It's named for Elgin-Alexander Fraser, the three-year-old Senators fan whose recent death from a rare form of cancer touched the entire city.

Keeping alive something that honours Elgin's favourite team, Bishop said, "would be the best tribute to the Sens and a little boy who was the biggest fan ever."

TOURISM

"Now we want to help other young boys and girls," he said. "A lot of good can come out of this in terms of charity."

A permanent Sens Mile could also be a boon for tourism. Bishop notes Ottawa Tourism is promoting Elgin St. as the Sens Mile on its website. But most of all, it's about celebrating a team and its loyal group of fans.

"We're not going to let it die," he said. "We're going to move heaven and earth to make this a lasting tribute to the Sens and the fans that come out to support them.

"The Sens win, the fans win and tourism wins. What's wrong with any of that?"


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