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Pat Lafontaine

Legacy Classroom Opens in Chapel Hill, NC

On Friday, January 28, 2011, Pat LaFontaine was joined by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and a host of dignitaries at North Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill to open the latest Lion's Den Room. The interactive NHL "Legacy Classroom" Lion's Den was opened in conjunction with the 2011 NHL All Star Game hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes. The room features presenting sponsor Cisco System's WebEx -advanced video conferencing tools - that enable patients to connect to their classrooms, families and heroes. The room also contains a SMART Board and SMART Table, as well as PCs and a large screen television.

LaFontaine and Bettman were joined at the opening by NHL All Stars Cam Ward, Daniel Briere, Claude Giroux and Phil Kessel. NHL Legends Grant Fuhr, Willie O'Ree and Aaron Ward also spent time with the patients. Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager, Jim Rutherford; the hospital's Chief Physician, Dr. Alan Stiles; Cisco Systems' VP of Technical Services, Joe Novak; and a host of NHL team mascots made for a wonderful debut.

The room has walls and countertops made of Corian by DuPont. This material is resistant to germs and is the perfect surface for a high-traffic healthcare facility. This Legacy Classroom was partially funded by a group of former New Jersey high school athletes dubbed the "Frozen Flashback." In 1989, the New Jersey High School hockey championship game was postponed due to a measles outbreak. Twenty years later, almost 40 players gathered from the two teams and played "the greatest game never played." The game was held to raise money for charity. Through the NHL's "Hockey Fights Cancer" initiative, the children of North Carolina are the beneficiaries of this inaugural donation.

The CiC Foundation has now opened 11 Lion's Den Rooms throughout North America. This room in North Carolina is the first "Legacy Classroom" Lion's Den to open. There are plans to open similar rooms in Pittsburgh and Calgary. Previously, the National Hockey League and its sponsors have supported the opening of Lion's Den rooms in hospitals located in Montreal (2009) and Boston (2010).

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