Project Summary

Project Category: Other

Number of Participants: 250-500

Duration of Project: 1-4 Hours

Cost: None

Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoors

Service Opportunities: Financial Donations

Location: The 6.6K Run and 3.3K Family Walk will begin and end at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Arena is located at 1001 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 MAP LINK

Project Contact:
Karin H. Girasek
P: 412-281-3466


The Mario Lemieux Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient care, as well as Austin’s Playrooms, an initiative that creates playrooms for children and families in medical facilities. Since 1998, the Mario Lemieux Foundation has given over $25 million to cancer research and patient care initiatives in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. In November 2018, the Lemieux Foundation announced a $5M gift to establish the Mario Lemieux Immunotherapy Center at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Other projects include a $2.5M gift in 2014 to establish the Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children and Young Adults at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a $3.5M gift to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to open the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in 2012. Additionally, the Foundation has opened 33 Austin’s Playrooms in southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as three military playrooms.

The 2019 Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K Run and Family Walk presented by Highmark. will mark the seventh year for this fundraising event. The unique 6.6K distance (4.1 miles) pays tribute to Pittsburgh Penguins great Mario Lemieux, and proceeds from the event benefit two local Pittsburgh charities; the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Support for this event can be in the form of a runner, walker, volunteer, and virtual participation.

Impact: Proceeds from the event fund the Mario Lemieux Foundations cancer research, patient care projects along with the Austin's Playrooms initiative. Austin’s Playrooms was created as a result of Nathalie and Mario Lemieux’s personal experience while caring for their infant son, Austin. In 1996, Austin was born profoundly premature and spent 71 days in the NICU. While they were caring for Austin, there was nothing to engage his sisters, who were both toddlers at the time. It was then Mario and Nathalie realized a need for playrooms and began their plan to establish Austin’s Playrooms. Austin’s Playrooms are created to give kids a chance to be themselves during an otherwise stressful time. The playrooms allow families the ability to escape the burden of difficult or extended medical situations and focus on health and healing. As the project grew, Nathalie and Mario recognized how playrooms could also benefit the children of our veterans and active duty warriors, leading to the creation of three additional military playrooms: Warrior Transition Unit - Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California, and Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. A fourth playroom will be established at Naval Medical Center San Diego. The mission of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is to actively promote physical well being, encourage teamwork, stress the value of education and provide essential life skills to young people in our community through youth hockey and other activities.

Project Availability:

Volunteer Responsibilities: Volunteer opportunities and responsibilities will be available on our volunteer website once the 2019 Race date has been determined. If more information is needed before that time, please contact Karin Girasek in the Foundation office at [email protected]

Attire: Please dress appropriately based on the weather forecast.

F&B Provided for Volunteers: Yes

Option to Move Project to a Different Location: No

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Mario Lemieux Foundation