Oklahoma Children's Hospital play space opens thanks to gift from Thunder GM Sam Presti, wife Shannon
During one of Sam Presti’s first visits to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, the Thunder general manager noticed a young patient riding a tricycle down the hospital hallways while working with their physical therapist.
“Seeing this prompted the idea of whether or not we could incorporate a play space that included therapy modalities but also be a shared space for other children to have fun and enjoy their time while at the hospital,” said Children’s Hospital president Jon Hayes, who relayed the story.
On Monday afternoon, the Presti Clubhouse and Play Area officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Presti and his wife, Shannon, donated $600,000 to the Children’s Hospital at OU Health in June 2019. In addition to the clubhouse, their gift funded renovations to two procedure rooms and technology upgrades to enhance patient care, according to a release.
“My wife and I have been really, really grateful for a long time for everything that the city and the state have done for us,” Presti said at the ceremony. “So we started thinking about, what is a way for us to give back that can impact not just a small segment of people, but really everybody? We really felt like one of the strongest things you can have in a community that’s continuing to strive and grow is a great children’s hospital.
“There’s no telling who and when and how any of us could potentially be affected to walk through these doors … and this is a way that we felt we could give back to a universe of people that have been supportive of us.”
The Presti Clubhouse is in the East lobby of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. The colorful area includes indoor and outdoor spaces to foster creativity and promote healing.
“We are so humbled to be a part of this,” said Presti, clearing his voice and holding back tears.
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“We hope it’s something people can enjoy for a very, very long time.”