Carleton Ravens football program scores major donation

The Carleton University football program not only won its first Panda Game since 1994 last weekend, it also scored a $500,000 donation from The Taggart Parkes Foundation and Tamarack Homes.

The donation was announced just before the coin toss for the annual grudge match between the Carleton Ravens and the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. The Ravens went on to win the game 33-31 on a last-second Hail Mary touchdown pass.

“Carleton offers an outstanding student experience, and varsity sports such as football are an important part of that experience,” The Taggart Group chairman Jim Taggart said in a statement. “We are honoured to support our alma mater and help provide student athletes with the same incredible experience we enjoyed.”

The money will go to the Taggart Family Awards for Ravens Football and Taggart Family Ravens Football Fund. The fund will support the team’s operating costs, while the awards will be given each year to players who meet academic and athletic requirements.

More money came Carleton’s way at half-time with a $5,000 donation courtesy of NFL Canada. The money, which goes straight to the team, is part of an initiative called “NFL On Campus,” a program designed to create a buzz around Canadian university football.

"Supporting university football programs by offering donations and game day experiences for fans is our way of supporting the game at the grassroots level here in Canada,” NFL Canada spokesman Brian Findlay said in a statement. “We are also proud to recognize the hard work that has gone into rebuilding Carleton Ravens football."

The Ravens revived their football program last year after a 15-year hiatus, and the team is funded entirely through alumni and corporate sponsors.