Eskimos and CFL Alumni honour Canadian hero

Eskimos and CFL Alumni honour a Canadian hero at September 11th game
Medal of Bravery Recipient to be Presented with an Ultimate Grey Cup Package

EDMONTON — Eskimos Alumni and CFL Alumni are honouring a military hero with a special prize as part of their ongoing efforts to pay tribute to our Canadian troops.
Master Corporal Donovan Ball will be presented with an Ultimate Grey Cup Package, including tickets and accommodations for the CFL’s biggest game in Calgary this November, before tonight’s game here between the Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders.
Ball was awarded the Medal of Bravery for his actions last year, during his second deployment in Afghanistan. He was one of a number of Canadian officers working as mentors to an Afghan Company when they were ambushed by Taliban insurgents. The official citation accompanying his medal descirbes how Ball helped secure “an extraction route that allowed for the execution of a fighting withdrawal”. It praises his “dedication, leadership and valour” and says that, because of Ball and his fellow officers, “many Afghan and Canadian lives were saved.”
Ball was chosen for the Grey Cup prize by Lieutenant-Colonel Pete Dawe, Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, after the former CFL players asked for the name of a worthy recipient.
“Master Corporal Ball embodies all that we admire in the Canadian soldier,” Lieutenant-Colonel Dawe said. “He is a Canadian hero and we, his fellow members of the Canadian Forces, are tremendously proud of his accomplishments and trust that all Canadians will share our sentiment.”
The Grey Cup prize was originally purchased at a live auction during the Edmonton Eskimo Alumni Golf Tournament last month by Glenn Cumyn, Owner and President of SFE Global in Vancouver. He decided to donate it for this purpose so a member of the military could enjoy “a weekend he’ll never forget.”
“The military and the CFL are my two passions,’ said Cumyn, the son of a 35-year veteran soldier, with several family members serving in the military.
Master Corporal Ball said he is honoured to accept this prize on behalf of everyone in his unit and the Canadian Forces.
“I would like to thank the Edmonton Eskimos Alumni, CFL Alumni and Mr. Cumyn for recognizing our soldiers at home and overseas,” he said.
The presentation to Master Corporal Ball is part of a special evening that will see several members of the military hosted in the Alumni Lounge and treated to game tickets by the Edmonton Eskimos.

Media Release – September 9, 2009

Media Release
 Final Release 2009/09/09
September 08, 2009

Committed to Contact, Community, Compassion
TORONTO – For the first time, former Canadian Football League players are launching a national alumni organization dedicated to working with local teams’ associations to foster contact, community, and compassion.
“Wherever and whenever we played the great game of Canadian football, we all belong to the same extended family,” said Leo Ezerins, the first executive-director of the Canadian Football League Alumni Association (CFLAA).
“Our goal is to strengthen that family, so we’re there for one another, there for the game we love and the league we helped build, and there for the broader community.”
The CFLAA is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit corporation. First established last Fall, it has been working behind the scenes to build a volunteer board of directors and reach out to each CFL team’s alumni association to identify common goals.
“Local associations provided start up funds, the CFL Board of Governors stepped up with a three-year funding commitment, and the CFL Players’ Association has also provided financial backing, so we have had significant support out of the gate, and we’re off to strong start,” said CFLAA President Hector Pothier.
“We’re now ready to launch our public activities, and we have exciting events planned in the weeks ahead, and we’re looking forward to attending the Canadian Football Hall of Fame weekend next month in Winnipeg, and November’s Grey Cup in Calgary.”
Ezerins and Pothier identified three main goals for the new organization:
Contact: the association is hoping to work with local associations to build a broader data base of former CFL players, to connect them with each other and the game for a variety of reasons, ranging from fun and comradery to pension entitlements.

Community: there are plans to help build up Canadian youth through support for sport in general, amateur football in particular in conjunction with Football Canada, and charitable causes that help kids in need.

Compassion: while many former players have built successful lives and careers after football, others face major hardships, and the association is a driving force behind a new CFL Alumni Players Dire Needs Fund, to help those players.

 The CFLAA has launched a new website,, and web blog, and can be found on facebook at

 Former players or journalists wishing to learn more about the association are welcome to contact Leo Ezerins at 604-787-4623 or
More information on upcoming CFLAA events will be released shortly.
The volunteer CFLAA Board of Directors is comprised of a member from each local Alumni Association, either the President or a designate. It consists of:
Hector Pothier, President, (Edmonton),
Paul Markle, VP, (Toronto),
Ralph Scholz, Secretary/Treasurer, (Hamilton),
Don Taylor, (BC), Chair CFL Alumni Players Dire Needs Fund
Jeff Avery, (Ottawa), Co Chair CFL Alumni Players Dire Needs Fund
Joe Poplawski (Winnipeg),
JT Hay (Calgary),
Steve Mazurak (Saskatchewan),
Eric Lapointe (Montreal)
Others who have assisted are:
Peter Dalla Riva (Montreal),
Herm Harrison (Calgary),
Ian Sinclair (BC),
Jay Roberts (Ottawa),
Dave Vankoughnett (Winnipeg)
Carm Carteri (Saskatchewan)
Every member of a local Alumni Association is a member of the CFL Alumni Association.

New Event Information

September 11, Friday

Support the Troops Event – Edmonton, AB

Edmonton Eskimo Alumni and CFL Alumni

Presentation to outstanding soldier  of the 3PPCLI at the Edmonton Garrison.  (

Presentation at the game (Esks vs Stamps, Commonwealth Stadium)

Guests at the Esks Alumni Lounge



September 26, Saturday

Inaugural CFL Alumni Man of the Year Brunch- Winnipeg, MB

Invite only – Manitoba Club

Held during Canadian Football Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

(not an official event of the HofF induction Weekend)



November 27, Friday

CFL Alumni Legends Club Kick off Lunch

Grey Cup Weekend, Calgary AB

Flames Central (