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Gallagher's visit to Shriners elicits smiles, and the feeling is mutual

The young forward took some time out of his day off on Monday to stop by the Shriners Hospital to announce a new fundraising event

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Fresh off a productive and successful road trip to the Midwest, Brendan Gallagher took advantage of a day off to spend some time giving back at the Shriners Hospital.

The 25-year-old made the visit in order to announce SKATE FOR KIDS, a new event to support children and families at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada. The event, which will take place on Sunday afternoon, is a chance for families and individuals to come out for a skate at Atrium Le 1000, take some pictures with the Habs' right winger and enjoy other activities - all while raising money for a good cause.

"[Visiting the Shriners] really puts things into perspective for me. You understand with everything we're going through, there are a lot more important things going on and for us to be concerned about," outlined Gallagher, who is the Canadiens' leading goal-scorer with six tallies on the year thus far. "The kids enjoy it, it's just a positive experience for everyone. We have a good opportunity here, we're going to have a fun little skate. Hopefully, the community comes out and supports it and we just have a good time and raise some money."

That said, it's not only the children who get to meet him whenever he visits who are taking something out of the encounters.

"I definitely get a lot out of it myself," he continued. "You get an understanding of what these kids are going through and the battles they have. I'm really fortunate to be able to do what I do and do what I love for a living. These kids have had a tough break in life, but the attitude they have, the positivity they have is something I can learn from - and I think a lot of us can. To see how positive they are and the smiles they have on their faces every single day they're in here, it does a lot for us as well."

The event, which runs from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, will feature an open skate, a photo station with the Canadiens' No. 11, a tattoo station, a Teddy Bear clinic and much more. Former Hab Georges Laraque will be emceeing and a DJ will be on hand to add to the festivities.

It's safe to say that, just as was the case at the press conference - which featured toy trucks as mic stands and a mini-basketball session to close things out - there will be plenty of smiles from children and their families as they get to meet the star forward. It's also safe to say that all those who greet him will be met with his trademark smile in return.

"I'm just a regular person coming in here, spending some time with some kids who have caught a tough break," concluded Gallagher. "The positivity and the energy they have, the attitude towards life they have is such a positive one that I'm just happy to be around it."

For more information on the event or to register, click here.

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