In 2015, P.K. Subban pledged $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital

By Georgia Slater
August 23, 2019 03:07 PM

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is a fan favorite for what he does on the ice — and off.

The hockey player, 30 — who PEOPLE confirmed Friday is engaged to Lindsey Vonn — is not only “the best present” to the former Olympic skier, but is also continuously a gift-giver to his community, and those in need as well.

Subban was first drafted into the NHL in 2007 by the Montreal Canadiens before spending several years with the Nashville Predators and being traded to the Devils this summer.

Since beginning his time in the NHL, Subban has worked with — and founded — several philanthropic organizations, and aimed to be a role model for his youngest fans.

Here’s a deeper look into some of the hockey player’s most heartwarming contributions.

He started his own foundation.

The P.K. Subban Foundation was formed in 2014, with the athlete hoping to create positive change by “building a community of people who are passionate about helping children around the globe.”

“Our mission is to empower children and families by creating programs that support them during challenging times in their lives,” Subban said on his website. “We believe that the opportunities and potential of our children should not be shaped by adverse barriers.”

In the last four years alone, the foundation has collected more than $3 million.

GP Images/Getty

RELATED: Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn Is Engaged to Hockey Star P.K. Subban

He donated $10 million to a children’s hospital.

​In September 2015, Subban pledged $10 million to the Montreal Children’s Hospital — which marked the largest donation ever made by a Canadian athlete.

While some people asked Subban if he meant to give such a huge sum of money, he shared that it had to be enough to make an impact. During an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in January 2018, he detailed the personal experience that inspired him to donate.

“I got to know a little boy named Alex Shapiro through my old minor hockey coach, and still close friend and family friend, Martin Ross, and he coached [Alex]. I got to know Alex very, very closely, and his parents and his family, and was actually in touch with him until literally his last moments before he passed away,” Subban explained. “For me, that made me want to give back in a different way and really have a significant impact. And not just give back where everyone could say, ‘Wow, that’s great,’ but give back where I could actually make a difference,” he said.

He began a buddy program for underprivileged youth.

While a part of the Predators, Subban created a program called Blue-line Buddies, which worked with the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Predators Foundation, bringing together underprivileged youth, low-income families, and law enforcement.

For every home game of the season, Subban would buy the group their game tickets and dinner, and meet with them before and after the game, according to the NHL.

“I think it’s important for athletes to set a tone in a way that we’re looking to build bridges,” Subban told the NHL. “That doesn’t take away from anybody’s right to do what they want to do or how they want to exercise their rights as an American citizen, but I think it’s really important for us to be role models in terms of building bridges and being a part of the solution to social issues and different things that go on in our community.”

He created a week of fundraising events for his non-profit.

The “PKSFWEEKMTL,” Subban’s week of events for the P.K. Subban Foundation in Montreal, began on Tuesday with a hockey camp for 320 kids. A hockey tournament and a spinning class are expected Friday and Saturday.

The hockey player and now fiancée, Vonn, attended the Holt Renfrew Ogilvy boutique Thursday for an event in which 10 percent of the luxury store’s sales were donated to Subban’s non-profit.

GP Images/Getty

“We’ve already raised over $300,000 and we’re not even halfway through the week yet,” Subban told the Montreal Gazette.

“We’re going to continue to be innovative and creative and we’re going to continue raising the bar in Montreal for what we believe people should strive for in terms of helping other people and building foundations,” he added.

He’s already thinking about giving back in New Jersey.

At Thursday night’s event, Subban shared with the Montreal Gazette that he plans on giving back in his new community of New Jersey.

“I’ve already met with a hospital there … but hockey is first and I want to get there and go through training and get to know my teammates. Then I’ll figure out what I’ll do,” he said.

Advertisement