(Above: Kris Letang prepares to run dek hockey drills with kids at the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club in McKeesport. Submitted photo)
Apparently, when you strip him of his helmet, pads, guards and playoff beard, Kris Letang doesn't look much like Kris Letang.
"A lot of the kids didn't believe it was him," says Jim Barry, director of special projects at the LaRosa Boys & Girls Club on Ravine Street, where the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman visited on Tuesday, along with Pittsburgh attorney Edgar Snyder. "They kept saying, 'Is that really Kris Letang?'"
It was. Letang, Snyder and several of Snyder's associates spent several hours running dek hockey drills and playing games with about 14 kids, age 10 through 12, in the LaRosa club's outdoor sports pavilion. Later, the guests bought pizza and pop for everyone at the club Tuesday night.
"It was a really good day for us here at the club," says Barry, who also holds an administrative position with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. Letang "is just like a big kid," he says. "They had fun."
(Above: Attorney Edgar Snyder and Penguins defenseman Kris Letang model new T-shirts being sold to benefit Playworks, a national charity. Submitted photo.)
Letang visited the LaRosa club to film a public-service announcement for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania and to kick off a fundraising campaign for Playworks, a national charity that provides programming and equipment for schools to use on playgrounds.
Playworks is currently has programs at Propel charter schools in McKeesport, Hazelwood, Homestead, Pitcairn and on Pittsburgh's North Side as well as at Penn Hlls Elementary.
Across Pennsylvania, Playworks currently serves 33,000 pupils, a spokesperson said.
Amanda Gillooly, a spokeswoman in Snyder's Pittsburgh office, says Letang is selling limited-edition T-shirts through Snyder's website at www.EdgarSnyder.com/Kids.
Proceeds from the T-shirts will benefit Playworks Pittsburgh, and Snyder will match all T-shirt sales up to $15,000, Gillooly says.
(Above: Snyder, attorneys from his firm and Letang pose with Barry and kids from the LaRosa club.)
Letang has been generous with Boys & Girls Clubs in the Pittsburgh area and Snyder has previously made donations and filmed public-service announcements at the clubs in Lawrenceville and McKees Rocks, Barry says.
Throughout the Pittsburgh area, Snyder has been known for more than 20 years for TV commercials where he points into the camera, promising to "get money for you."
At least when it comes to charitable donations, Snyder and his associates have delivered for the Boys & Girls Clubs, Barry says. "They are fantastic," he says. "They are truly, genuinely, a cool group of people."
Originally published September 27, 2017.