Impact vice-president Richard Legendre, top left, poses with Jebi Knight Benoit Labonte and his family.
Montreal Impact fans are known for turning up, sometimes in great numbers, to support their boys on the road.
But, the bulk of the Impact supporters in the stands when the team goes on the road Aug. 21 to face CD Heredia will likely be from a little closer to Guatemala City than to La Belle Province.
If things pan out, some 300 of Jeb Brovsky’s friends and acquaintances, most of them orphans, will be attending. The popular and socially concerned defender met the youngsters through the work of his non-profit organization, Peace Pandemic, which he founded during his college days and has used since as an instrument to promote peace and human rights, particularly for children and women. He’s traveled to India and Guatemala during the last two off-seasons to put his opinions into action.
Capturing the Amway Canadian Championship meant a CONCACAF Champions League berth for the Impact. When the Guatemala City side was announced as an opening round opponent, a light went above the Colorado-born defender’s head.
“When Jeb learned that the Impact were going to play in Guatemala he tweeted, ‘Why don’t we invite the 600 youngsters I met?’” said Benoit Labonte, a ranking member of The Jebi Knights, an organization with the motto “Go Impact The World.” On its website, the group describes itself as “Peaceful hooligans becoming Guardians of Peace and Justice.”
Brovsky’s tweet became the impetus for Operacion Quetzel.
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