MONTREAL (September 19, 2013) – The recipient of the Jean Béliveau trophy for the 2012-13 season will be honored during a ceremony prior to the game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday at the Bell Centre. Canadiens’ legend Jean Béliveau will be presenting the award to Canadiens captain Brian Gionta for his charitable endeavors and community involvement.
The selection committee, comprised of members of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, evaluated the candidates based on the effort, enthusiasm, involvement and time invested in collective and personal initiatives. Candidates were also assessed on their commitment, leadership and financial support to the causes close to their heart.
Brian and his wife Harvest have been committed to the community and especially to helping youth ever since they arrived in Montreal. A family man with true personal values, Brian has been involved as the captain of the Montreal Canadiens and on a personal level, supporting several causes and participating in a number of fundraising events. Since he became a member of the Canadiens back in 2009, Brian and his wife have made it possible for sick and underprivileged kids to attend Montreal Canadiens home games at the Bell Centre in a private suite donated by the Giontas. At the end of the 2013-14 season, Brian’s generous financial support will have reached in excess of $250,000, giving over a thousand kids a memorable evening and unforgettable moments.
A humble and generous person, Brian has shown a great sense of initiative and is very accessible, especially when it comes to underprivileged kids and sick children. In 2012-13, Brian took part in several charitable and fundraising events, including Opération Père Noël, a fundraising dinner at Moishes for The Gazette Christmas Fund, the club’s annual visit to children’s hospitals at Christmas time and he also teamed up with a few teammates for a special meal with families at Ronald McDonald House, just to name a few. Brian also swaped his hockey stick for a brush and a pen, displaying his artistic skills on a canvas before writing inspiring words from Nelson Mandela. His masterpiece fetched several thousand dollars and contributed to a total amount of $50,000 raised for the Alzheimer Group. He also made himself available for post-game visits in the team’s locker room for seriously ill children. A caring and generous athlete and a classy individual, Brian Gionta is an example for all his teammates and a model for our youth.
The Jean Béliveau trophy is awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community. In honor of Jean Béliveau’s loyalty, consideration and commitment to the community, the award is accompanied by a $25,000 donation from the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation which Brian will remit to the charity of his choice.
The Montreal Canadiens are proud to contribute to Montreal and Quebec’s heritage not only through their on-ice accomplishments, but also their commitment to the community. Accessibility, authenticity, generosity, commitment and team spirit are the values cherished by all members of the organization as they unite their efforts to make a difference for the present and the future.
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