Hockey for Haiti
| P.K. and Hockey for Haïti
“I’m old enough to understand that there are people in the world less fortunate than us and when I have an opportunity like this to go to a country where I can help out, I’m more than willing to do it,” explained the 22-year-old defenseman a few hours before taking off for Port au Prince. “Everybody has their little piece of advice to give me but I kind of want to go there with an open mind and welcome the experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not too many people get to do, especially at my age.”
During the three-day trip, Subban and Laraque will visit different World Vision project sites and meet with some of the locals who were most affected by last year’s earthquake.
“We’ll be pretty busy while we’re there,” described Laraque. “We’re going to visit the site of the Grace Children’s Hospital which is a project we’ve been building with World Vision and the NHLPA and we’ll visit different places World Vision has projects in over there. We’ll play some hockey with the kids, sing with them and dance with them and just try to inspire them any way we can.
“I’ve been involved with the project for two years,” he added. “Before the earthquake, it was just a children’s hospital but we’ve been working to expand it in size so it can be accessible to everyone.”
As a Hockey for Haiti veteran and co-founder, Laraque, who is of Haitian decent, will be showing Subban the ropes this week and he knows how important the Habs star will be to this year’s project.
“PK is a good friend of mine and I know from past trips to Haiti how inspirational it can be for people there to see people of color being successful,” explained Laraque, who still has family living in Haiti. “Some of the kids there have been able to see clips of him online and stuff like that so they know all about him, but there’s also a big Haitian population right here in Montreal so it’s special for them to see a Canadiens star like him going to Port au Prince to help out.”
He may already be a fan favorite in Montreal, but Subban isn’t counting on hearing the familiar “PK! PK! PK!” chants he's used to when he lands in Haiti on Monday afternoon.
“I don’t know if anybody is going to know me there but I’m just going down there to help out in any way that I can,” explained Subban, who is carting a duffel bag full of Canadiens hats and t-shirts with him to give to the kids. “Hopefully I can also bring a little more awareness and money to the program. It’s a great cause and it’s not really about me going down there – it’s about Haiti and what’s going on there and what the NHLPA and Hockey for Haiti are doing for the people there."
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
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