Saskatchewan was paid a visit from a country music legend last week; a legend dedicated to raising funds to help hospitalized children.

Garth Brooks and Teammates for Kids are partnering with the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan to create a state-of-the-art therapeutic play area for pediatric patients and their families in the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

Garth Brooks made two Saskatchewan appearances last week to support the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan (CHFS). Back row: Saskatchewan Roughriders' Brett Smith, CHFS President and CEO Brynn Boback-Lane, former NHLer Kelly Chase, Garth Brooks, Saskatchewan Roughriders' Weston Dressler, former NHLer & ESPN personality Barry Melrose with child representatives from across Saskatchewan.

Garth Brooks made two Saskatchewan appearances last week to support the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan (CHFS). Back row: Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Brett Smith, CHFS President and CEO Brynn Boback-Lane, former NHLer Kelly Chase, Garth Brooks, Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Weston Dressler, former NHLer & ESPN personality Barry Melrose with child representatives from across Saskatchewan.

Child Life Zones, as they are called, have been created at 11 other hospitals, thanks to Brooks and Teammates for Kids, including those in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado.

“I’m really proud to launch our first international zone outside of the U.S.,” Brooks told reporters in Saskatoon during his visit on August 26.

The zones, Brooks said, are all about getting family into the hospital, and about turning typical hospitals from grey walls into colour.

“The zone allows children to be children,” he said. “It’s about kids and allowing them to be kids.”

What he likes about the zones the most, he added, is that it’s a place where sick children can be with their siblings.

“It’s a place where you can go and play and spend time with your brother or sister, playing,” Brooks said.

Brooks visited both Saskatoon and Regina at separate fundraising events to thank supporters of the new Zone at CHS. There were 200 attendees at each event, each of whom made $5,000 contributions to be there.

Both fundraisers will cover the cost of the new Child Life Zone.

According to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, the Child Life Zone will be essential to the new hospital, as it will help children and families cope with the social and emotional impact of illness and hospitalization. The programming focuses on child empowerment through socialization, learning, expression of feelings and collaboration between medical staff and family.

With the right programming available, Saskatchewan families will feel supported, respected and cared for as a family unit when visiting the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.