Seeing the “Atrium P.K. Subban” lettering as he walked in the hospital gave him goosebumps.
P.K. Subban has made what Montreal Children’s Hospital is calling “the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history.”
The star defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens will donate $10 million — minimum — to the hospital.
Subban, who called Montreal his second home Wednesday, is also making a commitment to raise funds for the hospital for seven years as a spokesman.
As a thank-you, the hospital named its three-storey atrium in honour of Subban.
“P.K. is a person of character, who strives for success, always working at new ways to stay on top of his game and he understands the value of teamwork,” Martine Alfonso, associate executive director of the hospital said in a release. “He is an outstanding role model for our patients.”
The 26-year-old Subban was joined at the event by Élise Béliveau, wife of late Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau.
“It is really an amazing feeling to be here,” Subban told the gathered crowd, via The Canadian Press. “I am proud to walk in the footsteps of my idol Jean Beliveau by giving back to the community and feel privileged to be able to help transform the lives of sick children and their families.”
The partnership will also see the creation of P.K.’s Helping Hand, a fund dedicated to assisting families financially hurt by a child’s illness.
“A lot of people don’t realize that having a sick child often means one parent has to stop working, and it becomes tough to make ends meet,” Subban said.
“P.K.’s Helping Hand is dedicated to making sure that these parents don’t have to worry about paying for necessities like food and medicine and can instead focus on what’s most important: helping their child get well.”
Subban’s generous gift eclipses his NHL salary this upcoming season, which is $7 million. He is entering the second season of an eight-year contract with the Canadiens that will pay him a total of $72 million.
(with files from CP)