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David Braley Foundation donates $250,000 to amateur football in British Columbia

VANCOUVER — The David Braley Foundation has donated $250,000 to amateur football in British Columbia, the B.C. Lions announced Friday.

The BC Provincial Football Association, BC Community Football Association, BC Secondary School Football Association and BC Football Conference will all receive $50,000 apiece. The University of British Columbia and Simon Frasier University football programs will both be given $25,000 each.

Braley owned the Lions from 1997 until his death Oct. 26, 2020 at the age of 79. The Hamilton businessman also owned the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1987-90) and Toronto Argonauts (2010-15), becoming the first person to own two CFL franchises at the same time.

"We are extremely proud to make this donation in David’s honour and for the donation to be designated to growing football in British Columbia," Grant Panchyson, the executor of Braley’s estate, said in a statement. "From his own experience playing sports and attending his first Hamilton Tiger-Cats game as a young kid, David always stressed the importance of introducing our great league and game to kids from a young age."

Braley's football teams won four Grey Cups. B.C. accounted for three of them (2000, 2006 and 2011) while Toronto captured the historic 100th Grey Cup in 2012.

Amar Doman, the current Lions owner, will make the foundation's contributions to UBC and Simon Fraser football programs.

"The club is very appreciative of this donation as we will always be proud to continue David’s great legacy of supporting amateur football at all levels in British Columbia," said Doman. "Giving back to the youth who play our game has been a major pillar of our franchise since David took control of the team.

"That will continue for years to come."

Braley was scheduled to be inducted on to the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame on Friday night when the club hosts the Edmonton Elks in the regular-season finale for both teams. Braley was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and appointed to the Order of Canada in 2019 in recognition of his CFL and community contributions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press