Sports breakfast to honour Routtenberg, ’94 Expos

MONTREAL — Reserve your seats now: businessman Mark Routtenberg and the 1994 Montreal Expos will be honoured at the seventh annual Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors Sports Celebrity Breakfast, March 27 at the Gelber Conference Centre.

2011 guest of honour Mark Routtenberg, left, and event chair Mike Wagen.

The ill-fated ’94 Expos was the team that seemed – with a 74 and 40 record – to be a very good bet to win the National League’s east division. They were six games in front of the Atlanta Braves with only 48 games to play.

But that dream ended with a major league baseball strike that marked the beginning of the end of the franchise.

Routtenberg was a limited partner in the 1991-2001 Expos ownership group. He was also a partner in the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League when they won the Memorial Cup in 1997, and he was chair of the Canadian hockey team that won gold at the Maccabiah Games in Israel the same year (with Jacques Demers as head coach).

Former Expos from 1994 confirmed for the big breakfast include Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Pedro Martinez and Expos manager Felipe Alou.

Routtenberg has also extended invitations to standout outfielders Moises Alou, Rondell White, Cliff Floyd and others. Former team president Claude Brochu will be on hand, and hip hop artist Annakin Slayd will perform his spectacular tribute to the Expos, which has become a YouTube sensation.

As usual, the celebrity breakfast will feature past and present athletes from the Montreal Canadiens,  Montreal Alouettes, Montreal Impact and Montreal Juniors, as well as representatives from the Olympic movement, the world of boxing and the local media.

Confirmed guests so far include Demers, Canadiens legend Peter Mahovlich and Canadiens first-round draft choice Louis Leblanc of the Juniors.

The planning committee is chaired by Michael Wagen, while honorary chair is Morden “Cookie” Lazarus. Journalist Mike Cohen and Charles André Marchand of CKAC radio will be masters of ceremonies.

A silent auction featuring a variety of sports memorabilia will also be held. Regular admission is $20. A limited number of VIP tickets will be on sale for $100, which will give exclusive access to a VIP room where all the celebrity invitees will gather before the event.

A souvenir program book and a full breakfast are included. Proceeds from the event will support Seniors in Crisis, a program that delivers assistance to seniors who are unable to look after themselves financially.

For more details, call Susan Rozansky at 514-342-1234, ext. 7234, or e-mail [email protected].