NHLer Ryan Ellis hosts golf tournament to rebuild Hamilton playgrounds

Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators is organizing an annual charity golf tournament designed to fund the redevelopment of existing playgrounds in his hometown of Hamilton.

Nashville Predators player seeks to raise $30,000 a year to fund playground redevelopment projects

Hamilton-native Ryan Ellis is raising money to help revitalize playgrounds in Hamilton through his Elly4kids Foundation. (Nashville Predators)

Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators is teeing-off with other NHLers to raise funds for the redevelopment of existing playgrounds in his hometown of Hamilton. 

Ellis, a native of Freelton, recently set up the Elly4Kids Foundation with the goal of raising at least $30,000 annually to help create safe and fun play environments for local children.

On Monday, the first annual Ryan Ellis Charity Golf Classic will be held at Beverly Golf and Country Club, just west of the city. The money from this year's event will be used to redevelop Andrew Warburton Memorial Park.

It takes a village to raise a child

"Ryan has always had a great relationship with kids," said Jacques Lanthier, the father of Ryan's girlfriend and co-organizer of the event. 

Having known Ryan since his Grade 9 year, Lanthier said Ryan has always wanted to do something for children, to help give them the same opportunities he was given growing up.

Working with the City of Hamilton, the pair were given a list of a number of parks and play equipment that could use an upgrade. Lanthier said this year the money will go towards the redevelopment of Andrew Warburton Memorial Park. Next year, money will be put toward a different project, but the funds will always be aimed at benefiting children locally.

"Ryan's still a really young man and he appreciates the childhood that he had," Lanthier said.

It might be cliche, he added, but the saying it takes a village to raise a child is very true for Ellis. "When he was a young man in Hamilton, he received that kind of support."

Spots to play in the tournament filled up soon after the event was publicly announced, Lanthier said. There will be 144 golfers taking part and around 192 guests for the awards dinner and silent auction to be held afterward. More than a dozen NHL and OHL players will be in attendance including:

  • Max Domi – Arizona Coyotes
  • Ryan Strome – New York Islanders
  • Austin Watson – Nashville Predators
  • Kevin Bieksa – Anaheim Ducks
  • Tyler Gaudet – Arizona Coyotes
  • Don Koharski and Bob Myers – former NHL referees

Visit elly4kids.com for more information about the foundation.