MONTREAL - On Saturday, January 20, during the game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens will conclude their cancer awareness month activities by opening the doors of the Bell Centre to the children of Leucan.
"For a third season, the Canadiens are dedicating one game in January to the children of Leucan to show solidarity towards their daily battle against cancer", said Donald Beauchamp, Vice-President Communications of the Montreal Canadiens. For the occasion, singer Marie-Eve Janvier, whose younger brother won his battle against cancer, will sing the National Anthems with four children from Leucan at her side. Some children will take part in the pre-game ceremony as flag bearers and others will ride the Zamboni during the intermissions.
Invited to support the Canadiens organization in this initiative, several companies and owners of private suites have invited these children along with their parents to attend the game in their respective suites. Alex Kovalev and his wife Eugenia will also be hosting ten children from Leucan in their private suite.
Launch of Youppi!ville
The evening will start with the launch of Youppi!ville, where the children are invited for a pre-game reception with the famous mascot, members of the organization, Canadiens alumni and personalities from RDS.
Accessible during Canadiens games at the Bell Centre, Youppi!ville welcomes kids and adults in an interactive play area, devoted entirely to Youppi!. At Youppi!ville, fans of all ages will learn about the mascot's history and have the opportunity to be photographed with Youppi!, participate in games and win various prizes. Youppi! snacks and souvenirs are also available. The children of Leucan and Youppi! will proceed with the ribbon cutting ceremony around 5:15 p.m.
RDS, a dedicated partner
Proud partner of the Montreal Canadiens in this initiative, RDS will host four kids in its private suite. The children will receive a visit from well-known personalities of Le Réseau des Sports, will enjoy a guided tour of the Bell Centre and get to comment on the game. "The tribute evening to Leucan is an event we are pleased to support and to get involved in", said RDS President Gerry Frappier. "RDS salutes the Montreal Canadiens' initiative and is proud to contribute to this moment of happiness for sick children."
Currently in Québec, one child in 400 is diagnosed with cancer before the age of 19. "Almost all of them become members of Leucan and benefit from the services it provides", said Ginette Charest, General Director of Leucan. Leucan is present in 10 regions in Québec and is active in the four pediatric oncology centres in the Province.
Every year, the Montreal Canadiens participate in Hockey Fights Cancer, a joint charitable initiative between the National Hockey League, its teams, and the Player's Association, which was created to raise awareness of the disease and funds for cancer research. Since its inception in 1998, more than $2 million have been donated to various children's hospitals and cancer research in Canada.
Canadiens in the community
Throughout the year, the Canadiens' Community Relations department organizes vast number of events for hockey fans and charitable organizations. The Canadiens are proud to contribute to Montreal and Quebec's heritage, not only through their on-ice accomplishments, but also with their ongoing commitment to the community.
Since its foundation in 1978, Leucan's mission has been to enhance the well-being and healing of children with cancer and ensure support for their families. Besides its headquarters in Montréal, Leucan is present in nine regions in Québec and has more than 7,000 members.