Blues Alumni Helping Community Back From COVID Struggles
As the St. Louis community is starting to emerge slowly from the pandemic, the St. Louis Blues Alumni want to help get small businesses back on their feet through a creative loan program.
According to Bruce Affleck, President of the Blues Alumni group, qualified businesses can get up to $15,000, based on a submitted application and as long as funds are available, he said. The Blues Alumni group is partnering with YouthBridge to administer the program, he added. In all, the Blues Alumni want to donate more than $300,000 to area businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.
To qualify, businesses must meet a specific set of criteria. All applicant businesses:
- Must be located in the St. Louis Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan area
- Was in business for all of 2019, 2020, and is currently in business
- If the business is an entity (corporation, LLC, LP, or LLP), the business must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State
- Qualifies as a small business under SBA size standards and had no more than $5,000,000 in gross sales in 2019
- Is majority-owned by an individual or group of individuals who are residents of Missouri or Illinois
- The business may not be owned by a donor to the Fund or any person related to such donor (sorry, but this means that you and anyone in your family cannot donate to the Fund)
- Experienced a gross sales loss of at least 25% between a full quarter in 2019 and the same quarter in 2020
“All businesses receiving a grant from the Fund shall submit a report to YouthBridge explaining the use of the grant within six months of receipt of the grant,” Affleck explained.
The deadline to apply is April 23, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Applicants who are selected to receive a grant will be notified after May 10, 2021, and the information will be posted to the Blues Alumni webpage as a business receiving assistance, with a link to your website.
The St. Louis Blues Alumni Association was established in 1988 with the mission to give back the sport, the communities, and people who have given so much to us,” said Affleck, himself a former pro player who has been a broadcaster, sales manager, front office executive and assistant coach over his long association with the club. He’s worked for seven of the eight Blues owners (Harry Ornest sent him on his way).
Affleck played for the Blues from 1974 through 1979. He also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders over his seven-year NHL career. In all, he played in 280 games and scored 14 goals with 66 assists in his career. He still plays.
“I play because I still enjoy the game,” he said. Affleck is a regular at fantasy camps and alumni functions.
“Thanks to the commitment of the Alumni, the St. Louis Blues organization, volunteers, and fans, the Blues Alumni has contributed millions to the St. Louis community and beyond,” he said proudly.
Fans can catch up with their favorite Blues alumni at this year’s Fantasy Camp, which is scheduled for September 2021.
Aside from Affleck, former players who work with the alumni association are Blake Dunlop (Vice President), and a board made up of Reed Low, Larry Patey, Kelly Chase, Barret Jackman, and Paul Cavalini.
You can imagine the board meetings get loud.
Speaking of the Stanley Cup title of 2019 – a run that ended the pain for so many Blues Alumni over the years – it is still “surreal,” Affleck told Guy Bensing of the BlueNote Fan Report.
Player Appearance Requests
Affleck said the Blues Alumni association can also help event organizers by providing player appearances and handling fees for this service. To book a former Blues player (if they are available). Visit the Blues Alumni website to learn more about this great program.
“The Blues Alumni are committed to giving back to the people and communities of St. Louis and beyond,” Affleck said. “Due to the significant number of requests we receive, we ask that the organizations seeking support meet the following criteria:
- One request per year (July 1 – June 30)
- Submit request at least six weeks in advance
- Submit through our online system
- Requests will be fulfilled at the discretion of the Blues Alumni based on item inventory
Affleck is making an appeal to fans to join in to help their neighbors, families, and friends get back omg their feet after the devastating blow COVID-19 Wass to their businesses and livelihoods. They can donate at the Blues Alumni website, and every bit helps and every bit counts toward the goal of $300,000. A “very generous anonymous donor” has agreed to match the money raised, Affleck said.
The Blues Alumni group has raised $58000 as of this writing. The St. Louis Fan report will match donations made from this article, up to a total of $500. If you donate please send a copy of your receipt to Guy@stlfanreport.com.
Editor’s Note: This article was written before the death of Bobby Plager. Our Matching donation will be made in his name. Bobby did everything he could to help the Community and we here at the Fan Report aim to do the same, even from 4300 miles away. “You can take the Boy out of St. Louis, You cant take St. Louis out of the boy!!!!”
St. Louis is a community that has survived more than its share of tragedies. The City and the surrounding area has a reputation for being friendly and welcoming. Now is the time we show the rest of America who we really are. With the exception of two members, none of these men came from here but most of them have made it their home.
When asked, to a member they say “St. Louis is a friendly town and they respect the players and their personal time.” Now they are giving back to us.
Now back to full strength …
A St. Louis Blues blogger, NHL podcaster, and writer for the STL Fan Report.