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In recent years, he has also spearheaded the local Little Penguins youth hockey program.Naturally, his portraits have begun to appear around town alongside Lemieux's.Last Thanksgiving, the museum unveiled a to-scale replica of Lemieux's hoisting the Cup, a likeness so detailed that players' names are actually engraved on the mock Cup.It's the most thorough tribute to Lemieux's playing days but certainly not the only one.The scope of that influence expanded with the Austin's Playroom initiative, a network of child-friendly havens around Pittsburgh for kids encountering serious medical problems.Undertaken by Lemieux's wife, Nathalie, the idea came after their child, Austin, was born premature and spent 71 days in neonatal intensive care."Way beyond his athletic talent, there's also his role in the philanthropic community and the medical community," Madarasz said.
The scope of Lemieux's presence all around Pittsburgh only starts with the Penguins.
His foundation was launched after Lemieux's bout with Hodgkin's disease in 1993.
Since then, the organization has raised and contributed more than million to cancer research and patient care around Pittsburgh. At Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, you'll find the Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children.
"I think the artistic community in Pittsburgh definitely latches on to sports heroes.
He definitely ranks up there among our list of the elites."Nowhere is Lemieux's influence felt greater in Pittsburgh than in the philanthropic and medical community.