Annual Shrine Bowl a great charity event

The 15th annual Shrine Bowl was played last Saturday and by all indications, it was yet another successful event.
This year’s honourary chairman of the Montreal Shrine Bowl was Charlie Baillie, who was the head coach at McGill for 29 years
Although the outcome of the game may be important to the players and fans, it is of secondary importance to those who benefit from the game, the children.
Over it’s 14 year history, the annual event has raised $289,749 for the Shriners hospital of Montreal. With 40 beds, the hospital is a pediatric orthopedic centre that provides care to burn victims and disabled children at no charge.
Last year’s event, which McGill won, raised a record breaking $50,102 for the hospital.
The annual event in Montreal is one of many held across North America. The events culminate in an East-West Shrine Bowl game that is played in California each year.These games have raised close to $15 million for the network of 22 Shriners hospitals across the continent.
“Strong legs run that weak legs may walk.”
These nine simple, yet powerful words have become the official moto of the Shrine Bowl since its inception in 1987.
The event’s organizing committee has been chaired by Grant Peterson since its inauguration in the late 1980s.
The committee also includes members of the Karnack Shriners based in Dollard Des Ormeaux as well as officials from both McGill and Concordia universities.
Over its history, the Shrine Bowl has helped to increase awareness of the calibre of football played on the Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference.
The Montreal Shrine Bowl has also been a stepping stone for the athletes. Around 30 players who have participated in the game went on to play pro football, including three in the NFL.
Those three players are former Stinger Mark Montreuil of the San Diego Chargers as well as McGill’s Randy Chevrier with the Dallas Cowboys and J.P Darche now with the Seattle Seahawks.
Five players from Concordia and McGill have played in both the Montreal and East-West Shrine Bowl. The list includes former Concordia All-Canadians Paul Vajda, now with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Dave Miller-Johnston. The three other players are McGill alumni and include Chevrier, Matthieu Quiviger and Val St.Germain currently with the Edmonton Eskimos.
In the last 79 years, the 22 Shriners hospitals across North America have helped approximately 625,000 children. These centres are more then just hospitals, they offer a healing and caring environment that gives patients and their families hope for a better life.
For the 15th year in a row, McGill and Concordia will help the Shriners continue to offer these much needed services.

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