Hometown hockey hero gives generous donation to QEH

Al MacLeod
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Hockey star Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars has donated $500,000 to the pediatric unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Watching as Richards signs a thank you note that will hang in the unit are, from left, Sandy Bernard, ward clerk in the pediatric uni

Brad Richards is well known to Islanders for his accomplishments on the ice but it was what he did off it Monday that will have the greatest impact on families in he NHL superstar's home province.

As the Dallas Stars NHL training camp was winding down on the Island, Richards stopped in to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and announced a $500,000 donation to help purchase medical equipment for children.

The donation will be invested in perpetuity and the income each year will be directed, after engaging Richards' and his family, toward medical equipment for the hospital to help children.

Richards, supported by family and members of the Stars organization, made the announcement in front of a packed QEH cafeteria about an hour before the team's plane was set to leave for Dallas at 2 p.m.

The humble Richards said he was overwhelmed with the amount of people that showed up for the donation announcement.

"I'm blessed to do what I do and I've always had involvement with kids," Richards said during the announcement.

Allan Morse, chair of the QEH foundation, said Richards' gift is one that will keep giving in perpetuity.

"When you can give a gift of any nature it's wonderful but when you give a gift that does not stop giving it means a tremendous amount to the children that will benefit from the equipment that will be bought and it's just a wonderful day for our community."

Richards said the donation was also in honour of his late cousin, Jamie Reynolds.

Reynolds passed away at the age of 7 with a brain tumor in 1989. He and Richards, who was nine years old at the time, were close friends and members of the Reynolds family were also present.

"We're always thinking about him and hopefully this is a good way to honour him, Richards said.

"I kinda wanted to have something that's like they described, that can last forever and kinda have a legacy in honour of my cousin Jamie."

Also on hand was a special quest, Nathan Ryan, a Grade 4 student at St. Jean Elementary who is receiving ongoing treatment at the hospital.

 Over the weekend, Ryan got meet his hockey hero, who also purchased tickets for him and his family to attend the intra-squad game on Sunday.

 "That was the best day of my life," Ryan said during the announcement.

Before leaving the podium, he had a special message for Richards.

"Brad guess what, you are my favourite hockey player. Good luck this year and I'll be cheering for you."

After the announcement Ryan helped Richards unveil a hockey net with a sign that read: Thank you Brad Richards from Island families.



Organizations: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, NHL, Stars organization QEH foundation Grade 4

Geographic location: Dallas

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Recent comments

  • Hey Islander
    September 21, 2010 - 12:31

    Maybe he deserves some fan fare for the way all the people crapped on him for not having a golf tourney this year-well done Brad and Thank You!

  • AL
    September 21, 2010 - 09:47

    ISLANDER: A half million dollars deserves fanfare! I dare say the hospital's public relations department had more to do with the fanfare than Richards himself. Either way, he has personally donated $500,000 towards medical equipment for children; be happy that Richards hasn't forgotten where he came from!!

  • flo
    September 21, 2010 - 08:40

    You are a true islander Brad. We are so proud of you .

  • Wayne
    September 21, 2010 - 08:15

    Good job Brad. Very classy, very generous! Our kids need role models like you. Good luck this year but try not to beat the Leafs too badly. (Cream the habs if you get a chance)

  • Islander
    September 21, 2010 - 08:06

    I think the donation is great but why must it be done with so much fanfare? Can things not be done privately or do the people really need more attention? Many people on the Island give generously and insist it be done quietly. That to me is a true measure of selflessness. Can't see this comment getting approved. Not warm and fuzzy enough.

  • Biker Dude
    September 21, 2010 - 07:31

    Way to go Brad!!

  • gary naylor
    September 21, 2010 - 03:38

    very generous of Brad. Tears hearing of his 7 year old friend. Thanks Brad.