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Talbot, Penguins Help Haitian Orphans

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
When Maxime Talbot visited the earthquake torn country of Haiti in August, he vowed to do anything he could to help ease the natives suffering.

Monday, Talbot took the first generous step toward fulfilling that pledge.

Talbot, through his newly formed foundation (which is appropriately titled the Max Talbot Foundation), is setting up a unique auction to help raise money to benefit Haitian children.

Talbot ordered boxes of white shoes. He then recruited some teammates to help him paint the shoes, which will then be auctioned off Nov. 18 through his foundation. The money raised in the auction will help build an orphanage in Haiti, which would save the lives of hundreds of displaced children.

“(Rupp and I) went down there and you see their needs,” Talbot said of the orphans. “This will help 100 kids to survive basically.”

Talbot, Matt Cooke, Kris Letang, Tyler Kenndy, Mike Rupp, Eric Godard, Marc-Andre Fleury and Pascal Dupuis took time after practice to paint the shoes. Each player added their own personal touch and style – some putting their number on the shoes, as well as various colors and designs.

“It’s great to have support from the guys and to have them be a part of this,” Talbot said. “It’s fun to make a difference.”

In August Talbot and Rupp took a trip to Haiti, arranged by Penguins team chaplain Brad Henderson, to visit an orphanage. The two passed out t-shirts, hats and street hockey equipment, provided by Reebok, to the orphaned children.

But the orphanage can’t handle the overflow of children. Talbot and Rupp are helping Henderson with the construction of the new orphanage. The money used from the silent shoe auction will help pay for the new project.

Talbot and Rupp hope to return to Haiti to see the completed building, and re-visit the children whom touched their lives during that original visit.

“Once it’s finished it would be nice to go down and see the final project,” Talbot said. “A lot of people are working on this project. It’s concrete. It’s a real thing. It will be special to see it come together.”

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