The Mario Lemieux Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for cancer research as well as Austin’s Playroom Project, an initiative that creates sibling playrooms in medical facilities. The Mario Lemieux Foundation was created in 1993 by hockey legend Mario Lemieux. In that year, Mario was enjoying the greatest season of his brilliant career and on pace to establish a new NHL scoring record. Then he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
After a successful battle with Hodgkin’s, Mario is now 18 years cancer free and his experience led him to focus on ways to assist those not so fortunate. He devotes much of his time to the Foundation raising funds to help reach the ultimate goal: a cure for cancer.
“Days like today are very special to me, as opening each and every playroom is like a dream come true.” – Nathalie Lemieux
The Mario Lemieux Foundation created the Austin’s Playroom Project initiative following Mario and Nathalie’s personal experience while caring for their profoundly premature infant son. As they were tending to young Austin, there was no place to provide a comfortable calming environment and engage his sisters Lauren and Stephanie. It was then that Nathalie devised this idea to someday raise funds for playrooms at area hospitals in western Pennsylvania. Nathalie Lemieux serves as Chair of Austin’s Playroom Project, and each room is called Austin’s Playroom.
Austin’s Playroom Project seeks to benefit families and improve the quality of a child’s hospital experience whether as a visitor or patient by establishing cheerful playrooms that are safe, calming and comfortable. In just 12 years, the Mario Lemieux Foundation has raised funds to create 27 Austin’s Playrooms in western Pennsylvania including their first military playroom at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Learn more about Austin’s Playroom Project at www.mariolemieux.org.
The Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation was formed to raise and distribute funds for the annual support of and contributions to various local and national charitable organizations.