Your Guide to Investors Group Field

June 2013

A guide to the new home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Investors Group Field

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30 Your Guide to Investors Group Field PLAYERS GIVE BACK TO COMMUNITY THE WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS are about so much more than just playing football. In the off-season and throughout the year, the players are busy giving back to the community. Many people have seen Bombers at fundraisers and other events, but probably have no idea of the true scope of their involvement. "The Blue Bombers visit schools throughout the province for the whole month of February for I Love to Read Month," Bell said. "For the Stay in School Program, our players visit high schools across the province. Their visits usually end with the Bombers playing a basketball game against the teachers." "Three-hundred and sixty-five days a year we are out supporting numerous events in the city of Winnipeg and across the province of Manitoba," said Jim Bell, vice-president and chief operating officer of the Winnipeg Football Club. "It's important to ensure we are giving back to the community." Flight Crew volunteers are required to commit to at least one community event, in addition to their responsibilities to the Winnipeg Football Club. Most sign up for several. In addition to donating tickets to various charities for silent auctions and fundraisers, the Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Football Club staff and Flight Crew volunteers contribute hundreds of hours of their time to various causes. "Our alumni support a lot of our causes. They're always willing to support our community, and our mascots make numerous appearances as well," Bell said. "The number of requests we get each year is unbelievable. We try our best to make a difference." 'IT SHOWS MENTORSHIP AND SPORTSMANSHIP AND IT CONNECTS US TO THE COMMUNITY.' Even Bomber alumni and mascots Buzz and Boomer get into the act. The proceeds from all 50/50 ticket sales go to Football Manitoba to support grassroots football. In the past 13 years, the club has donated over a million dollars to the cause. Their KidSport program raises money for kids who ordinarily wouldn't be able to afford to play team sports. The Manitoba Lotteries Banjo Bowl weekend in September raises money for the United Way, and food for Winnipeg Harvest is collected at every game. The players also spend time visiting sick children in hospitals and run inner-city football camps. They are spokespeople for ending violence against women, and support the Special Olympics and Winnipeg Boys and Girls Clubs, along with many other charities. "It shows mentorship and sportsmanship and it connects us to the community," said Bell. "It's especially wonderful to see peoples' eyes light up when they see our players."

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