Ex­pos Hall of Famer Tim Raines hon­oured at an­nual CJCS Sports Celebrity Break­fast

Montreal Times - - News -

The 14th an­nual Sports Celebrity Break­fast, which was held by the Cum­mings Jewish Cen­tre for Se­niors (CJCS) Foun­da­tion in front of a sold­out au­di­ence of more than 600 lo­cal sports fans of all ages at the Gel­ber Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Cote des Neiges on March 25, was a suc­cess of Hall of Fame pro­por­tions.

Tim Raines, (aka “The Rock”) who was one of the ma­jor rea­sons be­hind the Mon­treal Ex­pos’ suc­cess dur­ing the 1980s, and was known for his prow­ess as a base stealer, whose 1986 bat­ting ti­tle and three years lead­ing the Na­tional League in stolen bases and two years as a league leader in runs scored earned him a spot as an in­ductee to the Base­ball Hall of Fame last year, re­turned to Mon­treal to loud and en­thu­si­as­tic ova­tions from those in at­ten­dance at the break­fast, as he ac­cepted this year’s Ex­pos Base­ball Leg­ends Award.

A record $335,000 was raised at the break­fast, which di­rectly ben­e­fits the CJCS’ “Se­niors in Cri­sis” pro­gram, which brings about es­sen­tial needs to se­niors in Mon­treal, so that they can sus­tain a com­fort­able qual­ity of life, es­pe­cially ow­ing to the fact that 21% of Mon­treal’s se­nior pop­u­la­tion cur­rently live be­low the poverty line, and that by 2021, that de­mo­graphic will in­crease by an ad­di­tional 22%.

Raines, who cur­rently works with the Toronto Blue Jays or­ga­ni­za­tion, cred­ited his suc­cess in Ma­jor League Base­ball to his Ex­pos team­mates such as An­dre Dawson and the late Gary Carter. “They taught me how to play the game and how to play hard.They led by ex­am­ple and were al­ways pre­pared to play ev­ery sin­gle night. I knew I wanted to be like those guys,” he said.

As well, Raines stated that he was con­fi­dent that ma­jor league base­ball will re­turn to Mon­treal, and ad­mit­ted that if he is given the chance, he would like to play a role in its re­vival.

Chomedey na­tive Mitch Mel­nick, host of the pop­u­lar “Mel­nick in the Af­ter­noon” on TSN 690, was this year’s re­cip­i­ent of the Larry Fred­er­icks Me­dia Award for his four decades as a sports broad­caster. In his ac­cep­tance speech, which he de­liv­ered as if he do­ing one of his ra­dio broad­casts, Mel­nick re­flected on his broad­cast­ing ca­reer, and his ad­ven­tures in the Ex­pos press box at the Olympic Sta­dium, where he started out as the team’s of­fi­cial score­keeper. He also gave a shout out to for­mer Cana­di­ens en­forcer Chris Ni­lan, whom he helped out greatly dur­ing his dark­est days of drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion.

“It’s hard dur­ing this day and age to have em­pa­thy, yet I helped Chris out be­cause he did so much for this city and for me as a hockey fan,” said Mel­nick.

Veteran Mon­treal lawyer Mor­den “Cookie” Lazarus was rec­og­nized as this year’s “Guest of Hon­our” for his work not only as pi­o­neer­ing sports agent, but also his phil­an­thropic and char­ity work that ben­e­fit­ted the en­tire Mon­treal com­mu­nity.This in­cluded his work to­wards the fight against hered­i­tary breast can­cer, the Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion’s an­nual Cy­clothon, the Jewish Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal’s Hope and Cope pro­gram, his strong sup­port for Abo­rig­i­nal rights of Canada’s First Na­tions groups, and his in­volve­ment with the com­mit­tee of the CJCS Sports Celebrity Break­fast since its in­cep­tion 14 years ago.

“I find it a real joy to be in­volved. There is no greater feel­ing when you do some­thing that will ben­e­fit some­one who is less for­tu­nate,” said Lazarus. “When I walk around the Cum­mings Jewish Cen­tre for Se­niors, and I see peo­ple who now have lives that are more liv­able, then I know that what I do is like the gift that keeps on giv­ing.”

As well, Lazarus was treated to a pre­sen­ta­tion of a spe­cial trib­ute video, with ac­co­lades com­ing from mem­bers of his fam­ily, friends, col­leagues and per­son­al­i­ties such as Don­ald K. Don­ald, for­mer Expo Warren Cro­mar­tie, for­mer WWE wrestling su­per­star Jac­ques Rougeau, boxer Otis Grant and NHL Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Don­ald Fehr.

For­mer Mon­treal Cana­di­ens player Mathieu Darche, and his brother Dr. Jean-Philippe (JP) Darche, who played for the Toronto Arg­onauts, Kansas City Chiefs and Seat­tle Sea­hawks, shared the Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year Award for their ex­cel­lence and gen­uine love for their re­spec­tive sports, and their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of their re­spec­tive ca­reers after their pro­fes­sional sports ca­reers ended (Mathieu now works as the Cana­dian Vice Pres­i­dent of Sales and Mar­ket­ing for Del­mar In­ter­na­tional, a ma­jor Mon­treal-based global freight-for­ward­ing and cus­toms bro­ker­age firm; JP grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Kansas City med­i­cal school, and now lives in Kansas City, where he has a fam­ily medicine prac­tice).

Also present at the CJCS Sports Celebrity Break­fast were for­mer Mon­treal Ex­pos pitch­ers David Palmer and Bill “Space­man” Lee; Lau­rent Duver­nay-Tardiff from the Kansas City Chiefs; boxer Otis Grant; Cana­dian Olympian Lizanne Mur­phy; Tyrell Sut­ton, Mikael Char­land and Ou­mar Toure from the Mon­treal Alou­ettes; Chris Ni­lan; for­mer Mon­treal Im­pact player and broad­caster Lloyd Barker; Stu Cowan of the Mon­treal Gazette; Rodger Bru­lotte of the Jour­nal de Mon­treal; Fran­cois Gagnon of RDS; Andie Ben­nett of CBC; Ju­lian Mackenzie of CTV Mon­treal; and Dave Trentadue and Matthew Ross of TSN 690.

Tim Raines au­to­graph­ing some Ex­pos mem­o­ra­bilia that was

later sold at a silent auc­tion - Photo: Stu­art Nul­man

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