Visite de aux enfants malades de l'hôpital Ste-Justine avec les joueurs des Alouettes le 9 Septembre 2019. Photo: Dominick Gravel / Alouettes de Montreal
Community involvement has been part of the Alouettes’ DNA for years now. In these more difficult times, we are more than ever committed to serve those in need. Due to the current circumstances, the help we provide must be from a distance, but just as we do every year, we hope to be back in schools, on football fields or among the elderly to do what we hold near and dear to our hearts: give back to the community.
With everything slowing down, we took the time to look back on all the community-related actions and programs that we do year after year.
TOGETHER AT SCHOOL PROGRAM
Together at School is a community outreach program supporting high school students all over the province. Every year since 1998, dozens of Alouettes players have spent their off-season going from to school to school to speak to thousands of young adults about the obstacles they had to personally overcome. Any professional footballer would not have been able to achieve his dream without persevering through his academic journey and obtaining an education. And that’s exactly the goal of the Alouettes Foundation: to inspire our youth through messages of hope from athletes they most look up to.
Stéphane, the parent of one of the students, said: “At my daughter’s school ( DeBourgogne in Chambly), two of your players, Christophe Normand and Félix Faubert-Lussier, came to visit. They were incredible. My 12-year-old daughter who was not really into football fell in love. When she heard your message on the radio afterwards, she became a fan. She felt proud to know some of the players! Thank you for everything you do for our youth.”
The program in numbers, each year:
- Number of students inspired: 10,000
- Number of schools visited: 60
THE ALOUETTES IN YOUR SCHOOL
In collaboration with the photography studio Green Apple Photography Studio, the Alouettes Foundation now offers young students the possibility to choose the Montreal Alouettes locker room or stadium as their school picture background. All proceeds generated by this initiative go directly to our foundation. Among the establishments registered, a draw is made to pick three (3) lucky schools who will get the chance to receive a visit from one of our players as part of our Together at School program.
It’s one of the initiatives that our players and trainers hold closest to their hearts. Every year, more than twenty of our guys and coaches take time out of their schedule and head over to different hospitals across the city to visit sick children. It’s a simple action that provides so much joy to the little ones and their parents.
EMPLOYEE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
It’s not just players who are involved in the community, our employees are too! This is the impact they’ve had over the past two years:
- Monetary donations of $500 were made to:
- Institute for Research in immunology and Cancer
- Make-A Wish Foundation
- Lise Watier Foundation
- 3 organizations received gift packages of $500 value, comprised of memorabilia, tickets and more to use for giveaways, silent auctions or fundraisers.
- Montreal Community Cares Foundation
- Dans la rue
- Bingo night: Employees volunteered for a Bingo Night organized by J’AIMEMTL. All evening, they helped the elderly and people with special need with their Bingo cards, and assisted with the distribution of prizes.
- Porte ton pyj: Player Jean-Gabriel Poulin recorded a video inviting kids to wear their pyjamas to school in exchange for a $2 donation. The message was shared on the Operation Enfant Soleil Facebook page and was viewed by over 23,000 people.
- Breakfast Club: working with Breakfast Club Canada, once a week since June 2018, at least 2 employees head out to Champlain school to help serve students breakfast. Each week, they are helping 75 students start the day right!
Ultimate Football Tour
From January to April, the Montreal Alouettes travel across the province to teach the basics of Ultimate Football to students from 80 different elementary schools as an extracurricular activity. Ultimate Football is a simple, safe and contact-free way to introduce the sport to kids. This football initiation program is available for free.
Sara Gaudreault, physical education teacher at the Lachine elementary school:
« When two Alouettes players came to visit, the children had already talked to their friends, brothers and sisters from the high school across the street, and that had created a huge buzz. For many of our little ones, sport is an incredibly important part their life, and our students felt very privileged to get that visit. The girls participated in all the workshops, they weren’t afraid to run or drop the ball, and a few even registered for flag football afterwards!
The program in numbers, each year:
- Number of students inspired: 7,500
- Number of schools visited: 75
The Alouettes have been holding Family Clinics for the past two years. The goal of the workshops is to instruct the bases of football to children and parents. Alouettes players introduce the sport to children between the ages of 6 and 13 years old in a fun and sound atmosphere. At the same time, parents are taught about safe tackling and much more. This is done with the help of our players, of course, along with certified coaches from Quebec Football Federation. These events are done in collaboration with the Laval, McGill and Montréal universities.
Registration is totally free. No experience is required; boys and girls are welcome!
CAMPS ORGANIZED BY OUR PLAYERS
Every year, a few of our players organize their own football camps for the youth. These are personal initiatives that allow dozens of young athletes to gather and practice among some of their idols.
This year, Vernon Adams Jr. and Christophe Normand held events in Montréal and in Estrie. These events encourage the promotion of sports among young local players and give a chance to these aspiring athletes to learn from their role models and realize that they too could become professional if they put in the work.
THE MISSION OF THE ALOUETTES FOUNDATION
No matter the social status, age, gender or talent, our wish is for every student to be physically active. And if they are not interested in sports, they can still count on us. We will motivate them to stay in school and inspire them to make the right choices.
More information about our community program : https://www.montrealalouettes.com/communaute/