Alouettes making a difference on Thanksgiving

Montreal Alouettes

October 11, 2013, MONTREAL (ISN) – In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition for the Alouettes, several players will make their way to The Welcome Hall Mission to serve a holiday meal immediately following their game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday at Percival Molson Stadium.

Anthony Calvillo, Chip Cox, Nicolas Boulay, Kyries Hebert, Brandon Whitaker, Shea Emry, Michael Ola and Moton Hopkins will make their way to the homeless shelter starting from 5:30 p.m. and join forces with Welcome Hall Mission staff and fellow volunteers in providing warm meals to Montreal’s homeless.

What: Alouettes players serving over 300 Thanksgiving meals to Montreal’s homeless

When: Thanksgiving Monday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Welcome Hall Mission, 1490 Saint-Antoine Ouest, Montreal

The first Birds of Prey on site

Before Monday’s game, the Alouettes will honour former and current members of 425 squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force who will be on site. Four CF-18s will perform a flyover above Percival Molson Stadium prior to kickoff.

Founded in 1942, 425 Squadron became the first French Canadian squadron, and fifth bombing unit, of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Built on a rich heritage of courage, dedication and professionalism, 425 Squadron were the first Alouettes to answer the call to protect our country during the Second World War.

The Alouette was chosen as the squadron’s official emblem. The bird, originating from Gallic tribes, is known to fly high and rest very little. Therefore, it is fitting for the squadron to identify with the song “Alouette, gentille Alouette” and for its motto to be “je te plumerai”.

In 1946, shortly after 425 Squadron’s return from the war, the Montreal Alouettes Football Club was founded. Thanks to the combined efforts of football coach Lew Hayman and businessman Leo Dandurand, the Alouettes were the successor to teams of years past.

An officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lew Hayman was inducted to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame after serving as a player and coach. Hayman’s RCAF experience, the triumphant repatriation of 425 Squadron, and the famous French song “Alouette, gentille Alouette”, inspired him to name Montreal’s team the Alouettes.

Like many other squadrons, 425 was decommissioned at the end of the Second World War before being reactivated in 1954 in St. Hubert. Since July 1962, the Bagotville aerial base, located in the Saguenay region, has served as home to 425 Squadron. Still active, 425 Squadron remains the only Francophone squadron in the Americas.