Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and his family today celebrated the grand opening of a state-of-the-art children's playground at the Sto-Ken-Rox Boys & Girls Club in the McKees Rocks area of Pittsburgh.
Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins, financed construction of the new playground. It features a huge outdoor structure over rubberized flooring for year-round activities and a water feature for the neighborhood's children to enjoy during the heat of the summer months.
In addition to the outdoor structures, Fleury purchased a multitude of supplies for the Boys & Girls Club, including sports equipment, games, educational materials and electronics. He also donated hockey nets, a score clock and equipment for the Club's indoor dek hockey rink, now named Rink 29.
Marc-Andre and his wife, Veronique, conceived the idea for a neighborhood playground several years ago. Their plans came to fruition last month with the official groundbreaking.
"It's been something we've been thinking about for a little while, and we were just thinking about something to give back," Marc-Andre Fleury said. "The people of Pittsburgh have been so good to me, so to build something fun, something for the kids, I'm glad it all came out and the kids seem to like it."
"We are so impressed, so excited," Veronique Fleury said. "I just can't wait to see the kids get in there and have fun. We're proud of the outcome, it looks amazing. We've been in Pittsburgh for about 14 years, and now having kids, we just know kids are our future. So we wanted to give something back to the community and we thought kids would be a great idea, and a playground, all the kids love it. We thought the Boys and Girls Club would be a perfect fit for us."
On an average day, the Sto-Ken-Rox Boys & Girls Club accommodates over 150 children in its after-school and weekend programs and over 75 youth in its evening sports programs. The facility services families in the McKees Rocks area.
"This special act of kindness adds an entirely new dimension to our menu of services for the children who depend on us when school lets out," stated Boys & Girls Club CEO/President Mike Hepler. "From the onset of this project, it was obvious that
Marc-Andre and Veronique shared our passion to make the growing-up years count for the children of the community and that this gift is being presented for all the right reasons. Once the ribbon is cut, we are going to have a lot of smiling faces - compliments of the Fleury family!"
A native of Sorel, Quebec, Fleury was the Penguins' first-round draft pick (and 1st overall in the NHL) in 2003. He has skated for the Penguins for the past 13 seasons, setting team records for career wins (375) and shutouts (44), and playing a key role on Stanley Cup championship teams in 2009, 2016 and 2017. Beyond his excellence on the ice, Marc-Andre also has made numerous contributions to the community and has been a passionate supporter of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.
"The Penguins Foundation is honored to have provided assistance to Marc-Andre and Veronique on this amazing project," stated Penguins Foundation President Dave Soltesz. "The Fleurys wanted to ensure that the Boys & Girls Club had everything they needed to make a positive impact for the children." He added, "We are all captivated with Marc-Andre's signature smile - how appropriate that he picked a project that will bring smiles to so many kids."