Matt Cullen is known for his hard work on the ice. He also should be known for his philanthropic efforts off it.
The charitable organization that Cullen and his wife Bridget founded in 2003, The Cullen Children’s Foundation, has given a gift of $1 million to the Sanford Health Foundation.
The Cullen Children’s Foundation gift will create a 3,000 square foot Cully’s Kids Area, a one-of-a kind facility for kids to simply be kids while in the hospital – no needles, no medications, just fun. The hockey themed, state-of-the-art therapeutic and educational environment will be staffed by certified child life specialists and likely include areas for play and relaxation, arts and crafts, kitchen projects, a resource library and learning area, a stadium theater and video and interactive area.
“We chose to build this room because we wanted to give children a very special place to be just kids in the hospital setting,” said Matt and Bridget Cullen. “This is a unique opportunity to directly impact the lives of the kids we set out to help for a very long time. It’s what we’re all about. We are very excited to partner with such a committed organization as Sanford to make this a reality.”
An estimated $750,000 of the donation will cover costs for state-of-the-art design, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment. Remaining funds will go towards a permanent endowment to support ongoing operations of the play area.
“Matt and Bridget, and the whole Cullen Foundation team, have been a true inspiration to us at Sanford Health,” said Dennis Millirons, Sanford Medical Center president. “It’s all about the children, and this gift will provide sick children with a therapeutic play area that will be second to none. We are very excited to feature this wonderful project for children in our new medical center.”
“Passionate people like Matt and Bridget are true leaders in this community,” said Brian Mortenson, president of the Sanford Health Foundation. “Their leadership extends far beyond Matt’s celebrity status because of their selfless approach to philanthropy. Our campaign is all about building a permanent base of support for premiere health care for generations to come, and the Cullen family and Foundation has stepped up to lead that effort in a truly wonderful way with this gift.”