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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Mario Lemieux Foundation is all about helping others.

With a $2 million gift, the Foundation will significantly enhance The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh’s ability to do that as well. The Children’s Home promotes the health and well being of infants and children through services that establish and strengthen the family.

“On behalf of Nathalie and myself and the Foundation, we are very, very excited about this project,” said Lemieux, who was joined at a press conference by his wife to announce the gift. “Our son Austin was born three and a half months premature. It was a very, very difficult time in our lives, not only for Austin, but for the whole family. We certainly understand the importance of having a place like the Children’s Home for, not only kids, but families that are going through difficult times in their lives. That’s the main reason why we decided to get involved with this project. It is very important to us to make this a success. We are very proud of it.”

The Foundation’s gift, the largest contribution made to the 112-year-old organization, will name the family living center in the new facility and three Austin’s Playrooms. It will support the expansion of The Children’s Home’s three existing programs: Adoption, Transitional Infant Care Hospital and Child’s Way, enable the organization to consolidate all its services to one location and provide for much-needed additional space. In addition, the gift will support the development of a new program (Pediatric Transitional Care) which will provide transitional care, respite and hospice care for pediatric patients who are technology dependent and who may suffer from life-threatening illnesses.

“When you walk around here and you meet the leadership, the staff, the volunteers and the families that are being served here, it’s very easy to see the passion and compassion that is the spirit of The Children’s Home,” said Tom Grealish, who is the President and Executive Director of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. “We are honored to be a part of their team and we are grateful for the work they are doing for our community.

“They are filling critical gaps in pediatric healthcare,” he continued. “They are doing it with passion and compassion and they are doing it very effectively. We were also convinced that, without community support, they would be unable to meet the increasing demand for their programs and services.”

The new Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center campus will be located at 5324 Penn Ave. in the Friendship area of Pittsburgh. The project, a 63,000 square foot, three-story building, is scheduled to break ground late this fall.

“On behalf of The Children’s Home’s Board of Directors and the greater Children’s Home community, I would like to thank the Lemieux Foundation’s Board of Directors, Mario, Nathalie and Tom Grealish,” said Bill Wycoff, chairman of The Children’s Home Board of Directors.

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