About the Companions in Courage Foundation
The Companions in Courage Foundation was originally founded by NHL Hall of Famer, Pat LaFontaine in 1997. We are recognized as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and eligible to receive donations. In just the last five years our efforts have gone to raising funds to build interactive playrooms in hospitals throughout North America. Through innovative communications tools, these playrooms replace the isolation of a hospital with a connection to family, friends and celebrities during each hospital stay.
By virtue of their location (primarily in major metropolitan areas), children's hospitals tend to be safety nets to the most vulnerable in our society. On average, these facilities devote almost half of their care to children of low-income families.
Our "Lion's Den" rooms were designed by Edwin Schlossberg and his renowned ESI Design team in New York City. We are supported by generous individuals and corporations that include Microsoft Corporation and Cisco Systems.
Our mission is quite simple. No child in the fight for life or health should ever have to go through it alone. At Companions in Courage Foundation, we are here to give courage, friendship, compassion and support to those children and families who are overcoming illness and life-threatening obstacles.
A perennial All-Star in the National Hockey League, Pat LaFontaine was not only a great player, but also a great humanitarian in whatever city he represented. That combination was recognized in 2003 when it was announced that LaFontaine would be the first player inducted into both the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Minnesota in the same year.
The evolution of this Foundation began during Pat's years with the Buffalo Sabres. Dedicating much of his off-ice time at Buffalo Children's Hospital, Pat began to appreciate the power of another person's strengths. "Being with these kids - knowing their smiles, their pain and their courage - changed my life. They taught me about life and death. These children left me with a simple reality: We don't always have much control over what happens to us, but we do have a choice in how we respond." And that he did.
In 1998, after 15 years in the NHL, Pat retired prematurely as a result of a series of head traumas and concussions suffered through his career. With support and inspiration from family, friends and most of all, the kids in those hospitals, competing not for goals, but for life, Pat drew upon their courage and got through the most difficult time of his life. From that point on, Pat's fight for children took on new meaning and clearly defined where all his time and energy were going to be focused: helping kids through this Foundation.
Hockey Hall Of Fame
Pat LaFontaine was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 3rd, 2003 in Toronto. LaFontaine, a center and one of the highest-scoring American-born players of all-time, played with the New York Islanders, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers before ending his career in part because of concussion problems.
LaFontaine had 468 goals and 545 assists in 865 career games with the Islanders, Rangers and Sabres. He had his best season in 1992-93, totaling 53 goals and 95 assists. He was the third American with 1,000 career points in the NHL.
Selected articles about LaFontaine's Induction:
Click any link below to view an article
- December 2003 - LaFontaine Left an Impression
- November 4, 2003 - Hall Of Fame Honor Puts Icing on LaFontaine's Career
- June 20, 2003 - U.S. Hockey Hall Of Fame Announces 2003 Inductees
- June 16, 2003 - LaFontaine was a Hall of a player . . . and person
- June 11, 2003 - Fuhr, LaFontaine Elected to Hall
- June 11, 2003 - Congrats, Patty!