Country singer Garth Brooks is known for his crowd-pleasing performances, but the singer left his guitar at home on Wednesday (Aug. 26) when he paid a visit to Saskatoon and Regina to raise money for Saskatchewan’s Children’s Hospital.
The GRAMMY winning artist is thrilled that the hospital will be home to his foundation’s first international Child Life Zone. Since 1999, Garth’s Teammates for Kids has been providing essential services and programs to American youth, including the construction of therapeutic play areas within hospitals for the enjoyment of pediatric patients and their families.
Speaking with Global News, the “Thunder Rolls” singer revealed that he was incredibly happy to be in Canada and that, “today is a big day for us.” Child Life Zones, says Garth, “are about turning a hospital from grey walls into colour … and the greatest thing about the zone is the treatment, you allow children to be children.”
Garth, who is happily married to Trisha Yearwood and has three children from his first marriage, was the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s guest of honour at a charity dinner at Regina’s Conexus Arts Centre. With the singer’s help, the foundation hopes to pull in more than $2 million in donations. “In a normal hospital,” Garth told reporters, “they’ll roll (the children) out on a gurney, stick them in a hall waiting for surgery.” But thanks to the Child Life Zone, “they roll down, there’s TVs in the ceiling.”
Teammates for Kids has opened 11 Zones in the US and Garth hopes that Canada’s first location will be the first of many. “Needy children know no flag,” he says, adding, “so that’s why I’m very proud that we are finally starting to expand out.”