LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It's a cause close to Coach Bobby Petrino's heart--Kosair Children's Hospital. And it has been since Petrino’s first stint as head coach at the University of Louisville.
“Becky and I came down and visited the children's hospital; and it put tears in your eyes to see the preemies and the people that worked with them, and how special they were and how much they meant to the families,” Bobby Petrino said.
“Bobby joined our board and ultimately his wife Becky became involved and started volunteering in our hospital, and served in a board capacity when they left our community,” Children’s Hospital Foundation Executive Director Lynnie Meyer said.
Right before Petrino left for the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, he and his wife committed not just their time but their money to the expansion of the neo-natal intensive care unit. They would give a $250,000 gift, $50,00 every year for five years.
“We were very impressed with Lynnie Meyer and everything that was going on at the hospital, so it was just something we needed to do,” Petrino said.
“When he left the community, of course he could have walked away from that commitment, but he stayed true to it. Every year for five years they honored that commitment and they called and they checked in on that project, and they wanted to know how it was going,” Meyer said.
Now Petrino and his family are back just in time--three of the five phases of the $24.5 million renovations are complete. Eventually a Family Resource Center in the NICU will be named in the Petrinos' honor. Petrino says the next step is getting his players involved.
“That's a big part of it; I think Coach Strong has done a really nice job of that. I've been able to see some of the stuff that's been going on,” Petrino said.
When that Family Resource Center is completed in the next 18 months, the room will be named after the Petrinos' children: Kelsey, Katie, Bobby and Nick.
“The children's hospital is something that's special to me, so we will probably try to do everything we can to help those people,” Petrino said.
For information on how you can help Kosair Children’s Hospital, click here.