The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation has once again brought joy to thousands of young people. Its board of directors announced, yesterday, a remittance of donations totaling nearly $ 570,000 to 41 Quebec organizations working for the welfare of children in need.
Since its creation in 2000, the foundation has distributed $ 37.5 million to help young people living in poor areas.
Part of this amount was used to build 11 outdoor chilled rinks in the province, nine of which are located in Greater Montreal. At least 900 humanitarian organizations have benefited from grants from the foundation.
Its founder Pierre Boivin and his key acolytes Geneviève Paquette and Réjean Houle have every reason to be proud of these results.
Give for the right reason
Following a tour of the National Hockey League teams Boivin had the idea to launch the foundation.
“I’m just starting out as president of the Canadiens and I need to be familiar with what’s going on in a work environment that’s new to me. A lot of teams have their own foundations,” Boivin said.
“Here, the organization held two golf tournaments a year to thank its sponsors. One that served as a launch for the team’s training camp and the new season. The other took place at the end of the campaign. We’re worth it. $ 75,000 to receive all these people ”.
“Instead of continuing in the same direction, I suggested that we collect money from our business partners, which would be put into a fund aimed at supporting community organizations for youth. I am sure that businessmen and businesses will answer the call, ”he recalled.
The money is piling up
Boivin is right.
In the early years, the golf tournament was presented a few days before training camp raised between $ 240,000 and $ 250,000 in the foundation’s coffers.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the amounts collected were between $ 500,000 and $ 600,000.
Boivin did not fail to mention that he benefited from the expertise of Pierre Ladouceur, who held the position of Canadian vice president, marketing and communications, when he took over as president.
Ladouceur, which now has its own marketing box, is well known. He spearheaded the Ronald Manor construction project
McDonald’s is located near Sainte-Justine Hospital.
Pierre was closely involved, by the way, in opening the first McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow. The channel also announced on Monday that it would definitely leave Russia because of the war waged by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine.
The main project
Over time, the Canadian Foundation changed its goals. In 2009, he had the brilliant idea of building outdoor chilled skating rinks to promote physical activity among young people.
Hence the name of the program Blue White Move, overseeing this great initiative.
In the early days, the construction costs of these rinks, which are also used in the summer for the training of other sports, varied between 1.2 and 1.3 million. Today, it costs between 1.7 and 1.8 million to build these surfaces.
“We are a sports organization, we are at the top of the pyramid. You have to set an example, ”Boivin said.
“You can influence young people in the right way. At these ice rinks, we reach out to those who are not doing enough physical activity. »
Sport is a good school of life.
We cannot say this enough.
Ideas to seriously consider
In its report to the Legault government, the Quebec Committee on the Development of Hockey recommended the construction of chilled outdoor rinks with roofs.
If they can do it in Europe, we can do it in Quebec as well.
It’s cheaper than the new arenas.
The ice rinks are already there
Why can’t the cities of Montreal, Laval and Longueuil reclaim the rinks given to them by the program Blue White Move ?
“Very good idea! Pierre Boivin and Réjean Houle agreed at the same time.
“It’s all a question about the financial way,” Boivin added.
“The city that hosts one of our skating rinks must commit to maintaining it properly in the long run.
“But, at some point, we are in danger of running out of municipalities with the financial resources to do so.»
Help for Joliette
Geneviève Paquet sits on the Quebec Council on Hockey Development. He pointed out that Joliette had received financial assistance from Quebec for the construction of the roof of its skating rink.
“We are in reflection mode, Boivin resumes.
“We’re wondering about the next step to follow. Should our rinks be smaller? Should we provide a roof for those already built?
“We give ourselves until autumn to think it over.»
The children who used to play hockey outside did not die. On the contrary, it is very pleasant, those who had this opportunity will tell you.
We also need to consider climate change. Our winter was not so severe.
The climate lends itself to the construction of chilled outdoor rinks.
You have to think about it seriously.