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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Soccer tournament raising funds for ALS on June 8-9, 2024, in Pointe Claire

Coach Phil aims for $90,000 for patient support and research into this devastating disease.


POINTE-CLAIRE – In association with Soccer Pointe-Claire, Coach Phil is hosting the third

annual special fundraising tournament in support of the ALS Society of Quebec to support patients and fund research into new treatments for the devastating condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Founded by long-time Pointe-Claire resident and soccer coach, Phil Lalonde, the tournament is a yearly event on local soccer calendars where friends, participants, and supporters can join

together in an effort to kick Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).


"I’ve been coaching soccer for more than 30 years, and this tournament is my way to raise

awareness and funds for this important cause,” Lalonde said.

It’s a challenge that is not only important on every level to Lalonde – it’s also personal. Lalonde himself was diagnosed with the disease in September 2021.


“I believe in keeping a positive attitude no matter what. ALS challenges that every day, but so far, with the help of the ALS Society and my army of family and friends, I'm staying true to

myself."


The tournament raised close to $100,000 over the last two years, and we are working hard to

set a new record this year.


The tournament will take place at Terra-Cotta Park in Pointe-Claire on June 8 and 9 from 9:30

a.m. a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with women, men and mixed senior recreational teams aging from 25 up.


There will also be a kids’ corner and activities for the whole family.


The opening ceremony for the tournament will take place on Saturday, June 8 at 11:30 a.m. The

competition will begin directly after.

Players and supporters can enjoy the games and a picnic table area for lunch. Concessions,

bar, and Wild Willy’s ice cream will be on site. There will also be a silent auction and other

fundraising activities to help fight ALS.


Soccer Pointe-Claire is honoured to support the Coach Phil Senior Soccer Tournament to End

ALS and is delighted to welcome Coach Phil and his outstanding team back at Terra Cotta for

the 3rd year. Coach Phil is an exceptional human being and an inspiration!


The courage, determination, and strength that he has demonstrated since his diagnosis is

remarkable. Together we can help Coach Phil and others kick ALS by contributing to

research. Come join the fun at the tournament and meet the wonderful founder, Phil Lalonde

-Olga, Interim President Soccer Pointe-Claire


"I first met Coach Phil in 2018 when I joined his senior women’s soccer team. Immediately, I

experienced first-hand his dedication, generosity, community mindset and love of the sport and players. To put it frankly, I’m a huge fan of Coach Phil. Supporting the Coach Phil Soccer Tournament means that I can not only support Coach Phil in his new, challenging reality, but also help bring awareness of ALS and finding a cure. Being part of this amazing tournament gives me the chance to participate in strengthening our local community and promoting soccer, which I love. Ultimately, it leaves me in awe of someone who took an inexplicable, life changing diagnosis and not only transformed it into a legacy for our community to benefit from, but also

demonstrates everyday what it means to live with courage, strength and determination."

-Andrea Connors


“Living with ALS continues to get harder, but knowing there are people willing to fundraise with us gives me hope. I am extremely proud of our accomplishments last year and know firsthand that this money is being used to fight – and hopefully cure – ALS,” - Phil Lalonde.


“ALS not only impacts those living with it but also their families, Dad’s diagnosis changed our

family’s lives. My whole life I have called my dad two names, Dad and Coach Phil. On the field

he taught me to be a strong, fearless, and dedicated soccer player but above all to trust, supportand care for my teammates. It is hard to watch a parent’s body shrink before your eyes, but I get to watch the lessons he taught me on the field play out in our real life. Dad has shown strength,fearlessness, and a dedication to finding the good in having ALS through community. I am honoured to have him coach me through planning an event, raising funds & fighting for a cure.” -Coach Phil’s Daughter, Jillian Lalonde

ALS is personal for me; my mother lived with it 22 years ago. At that time, very few people knew

about ALS, there were even fewer supports, and not much advancement in research. Fast

forward to 2024. Members of our community continually inspire me with their courage, humour, and life lessons! Coach Phil is one of these one-of-a-kinds that embodies hope daily. He inspires me to embody hope for our whole community in my role as Chair. We’ve got real

momentum on this journey. Today, I feel encouraged with advances in research, supports for families, awareness, and improvements in access to promising therapies. Coach Phil understands the need to keep fueling these advances, one kick of the ball at a time!

-Susan Kennerknecht, Chair, ALS Quebec

About Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

• Often known as Lou Gehrig’s disease

• A rare and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons,leading to progressive muscular paralysis and total loss of autonomy.

• ALS is not contagious, it’s no one’s fault and 90% of cases are random, meaning that

anyone can develop ALS including young adults and the elderly.

• ALS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70, in both men and

women of all ethnic and socio-economic groups.

• To date, there is no treatment to significantly prolong the life of patients with ALS.

About ALS Quebec

• Founded in 1983, the ALS Quebec is a non-profit organization devoted to the well-being

of the ALS-affected community of Quebec.

• The Society’s objective is:

o to support this community through a complete range of services adapted to all

stages of the disease, to strengthen its power to improve living conditions as well

as current and future environments, to defend its rights with key political actors,

and to bring about changes that are favourable to these rights.

o to raise awareness so that the public better understands the disease, and to

mobilize people so that they contribute to the cause.

o to fund research projects which are the most promising, relevant, likely to

improve the living conditions of those affected and cure the disease.

• For more information: https://sla-quebec.ca/en/

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