By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: The BC Lions have jumped all over the Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18) fund-raiser at Hastings Racecourse.
With Director of Community Relations Jamie Taras flexing his muscles, the Leos will have the largest – in the truest sense of the word – contingent of past and current players on hand for Alumni Day at the Races that also includes representatives from the Canucks, Whitecaps FC and legendary Hastings jockeys.
Taras spent his entire 16-year CFL career with the Lions before retiring in 2003 and joining the team’s front office. When he put the call out to support Alumni Day at the Races, the Lions’ roar was overwhelming.
Even though the Leos will be coming off their final pre-season game against Saskatchewan at BC Place on Friday, June 16, Solomon Elimimian, Manny Arceneaux and Marco Iannuzzi from the current roster will be at Hastings two days later. They’ll be joined by greats from the past Dirty 30 Jim Young, Nick Hebeler, Glen Jackson, Tommy Europe, John Ulmer and the enterprising one-two punch of Kevin Konar and Gerald Roper.
A Lions’ alumni gathering wouldn’t be complete without the man himself: Lui Passaglia, the all-time fan favourite who’s a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, BC Sports Hall of Fame and BC Lions Wall of Fame.
Passaglia, a B.C. bred graduate of Notre Dame High School and Simon Fraser University, played a record 25 years with the Leos (1976-2000). A Grey Cup winner three times, Lui still holds various CFL records including total points scored (3,991) and most converts (1,045) as an all-star kicker/punter who also caught the occasional touchdown pass as a receiver.
Alumni Day at the Races proceeds will benefit Canuck Place, BC Children’s Hospital and Dire Needs Fund. Marquee Tent VIP tickets, where fans can mingle with the alumni members throughout the afternoon, are available at http://vancouversportsalumni.com