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Thread: Mike Rupp and Max Talbot are good people

      
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    Default Mike Rupp and Max Talbot are good people

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10226/1080056-61.stm



    By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    It's a trip to the Caribbean, but it's no resort vacation.

    It's about children in need, but it's far different from a hospital visit.

    Penguins forwards Mike Rupp and Max Talbot and former Pirates first baseman Sean Casey are part of a small group tentatively scheduled to spend next weekend in Haiti. At the head of the group is Penguins and Pirates chaplain Brad Henderson, who has been involved with an orphanage in the country for years.

    Penguins forward Jordan Staal planned to go but likely won't because he's still rehabilitating after foot surgery.

    "Not really sure what we're going to experience, but we're looking forward to it," Rupp said of Haiti, where a devastating earthquake struck in January.

    "You might want to pave the way for some involvement in the future. You're talking about a country where it's a tough situation for kids."

    The trip -- short enough that it won't interfere heavily with the hockey players' workout regimens with training camp approaching next month -- is partly to enrich the lives of the children at the orphanage, even if only for a couple of days.

    "The other thing is to get away a little bit from the suburban towns and really see that there's a whole world out there, a lot of people who rely on the help of others," said Casey, who works for MLB Network and has moved back to Upper St. Clair, where he grew up.

    "I haven't really experienced a third-world country in this kind of way -- I was in the Dominican for a golf event, but that's not the same -- so I do expect to go there and have an eye-opening experience, maybe a life-changing experience."

    Talbot and good friend Bruno Gervais, of the New York Islanders, head a charity in Montreal. He said their annual golf outing this summer raised more than $80,000, primarily for children with autism, and they held an outdoor hockey tournament last week.

    A trip like the one to Haiti offers a different perspective.

    "You would get to see what the situation is like there," Talbot said. "Yes, you heard a lot about things after the earthquake, but there's still a lot of need."

    Although Haiti is not that far from the United States geographically (approximately 700 miles from Florida), the travelers have had to take some medical precautions, such as vaccinations against typhoid fever and hepatitis A and a supply of anti-malaria pills.

    "That's another example of how fortunate we are here, where those things are controlled," said Rupp, adding that he is not concerned about safety.

    The hockey players have gotten to know Henderson in recent years, but Casey has known him a lot longer.

    "We would come in as a visiting players, and I got to know him," Casey said. "He's such a good dude. His heart is in the right place with these kids.

    "For me, having talked to Brad all these years about the people Haiti and their spirit, I want to get a chance to meet these people and see how we can help out more. I think when you can put a face to what you're doing to help these people out, it means more. I've been waiting to go down there."

    Casey had planned to join Henderson for a trip in January, but the earthquake hit a few days before they were scheduled to leave. Henderson went, but with all the chaos Casey opted to wait.

    Rupp said they are taking some street hockey equipment. Based on Henderson's descriptions, he expects to have his heart touched by the children.

    "I want to see what kind of needs need to be met, see what goes on down there," Rupp said.

    "You go and see these kids. They have nothing. You see them smiling all the time.

    "I'm sure it will feel like we're taking more than we're giving."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mike Rupp and Max Talbot are good people

    Max has always seemed like a good dude to me.A guy that you wouldn't mind hanging out at a bar and shooting the **** with.Didn't know that Rupp was in that same category,though.Good to know!!!

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    Default Re: Mike Rupp and Max Talbot are good people

    Nice story. Mad Max rules.

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