Montreal Alouettes Alumni Association

The Montreal Alouettes Alumni Association took an unprecedented step this year, joining forces with the Alouettes’ organization to fall under its auspices.

The move was long in the making and more complex than imagined, but has proven instantly beneficial to both sides.

Like all CFL alumni associations, the Alouettes Alumni Association is run by a volunteer board of directors. The board is led by president Eric Lapointe, who joined the Alumni group in 2007. Lapointe and his board members have served fervently to build and shape the Alumni Association, and the hours of dedication required have far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

That’s where a merger with the Alouettes’ organization made such great sense. By joining forces with the team, the Alumni Association can access the resources and talent assembled by team president and CEO Mark Weightman. Now the Association benefits from the Alouettes’ administration, communication and marketing resources and, at the same time, we maximize the relationship between the two organizations.

Key to the merger was the Alumni Association’s desire to maintain its commitment to causes it has valued throughout the years, primarily academic success and physical activity. In the past seven years, the Alouettes Association has donated more than $100,000 to young Quebec athletes to help defray their academic costs.

And while the Montreal arrangement is unique for to the CFL, it is not unique to Montreal. The Montreal Canadiens Alumni Association is part of the team organization, with former player and general manager Rejean Houle serving as its president and occupying an office in the Canadiens’ downtown offices.

In a letter outlining the move, Lapointe said: “Our intention is to remain close to the organization and very much involved in the direction the Alouettes Alumni Association takes. We believe the existence of the Alouettes’ Alumni Association is motivated by the strong bond former players and staff members have with the organization and believe that a tighter relationship can only help cultivate this bond.’’

Lapointe and Weightman appointed Annie Larouche to serve as the Alumni Association administrator. She can be reached at alarouche@montrealalouettes.com.

In other news:

– The Alouettes Alumni Association wish to congratulate team owner Bob Wetenhall on his induction to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Mr. Wetenhall and his family have owned the Alouettes since 1997. The growth and success of the Alouettes’ organization, and football at all levels in Quebec, is a testament to his and his family’s devotion, generosity and passion for the team and the game.

– The Montreal football community lost a valued member in May. Ray Baillie played five seasons with the Alouettes, and also spent time with the Eskimos, Stampeders and Tiger-Cats. His twin brother Charlie also played in the CFL.

– The Alouettes Alumni Association staged its annual golf tournament June 4 at Cowansville Golf Club. Proceeds from the tournament will be given to Association Garagona. The Association provides summer holidays to foster children and their foster parents.

– The Montreal Alouettes Foundation has received licences to stage 50-50 draws at team home games this season. The venture hopes to raise $75,000 to assist causes supported by the team and Alumni.

– Lapointe was re-elected for a two-year term as president.

By Dave Supleve

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