Jeff Petry and his wife Julie showed their gratitude for Montreal hospital workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The Montreal Canadiens defenseman opened a $2,500 tab at two Montreal restaurants so medical professionals battling the virus can get free meals during the pandemic.
“We spoke with both restaurants (Sunday) night and the tabs were run through by the end of the night,” Julie Petry said from the couple’s Michigan home Monday. “It ran one day, everyone got the meal that they wanted and it was awesome.”
Petry shared the news with a post on his Instagram page and thanked Mandy’s Gourmet Salads in Westmount and Notre-Boeuf-De-Grace in the NDG section of Montreal for participating in the promotion.
“The burger place (Notre-Boeuf-de-Grace) ran out probably right around the dinner rush so we just continued it,” Julie said. “We told them we’d close out the bill at the end of the night and cover the balance at the end of the day. They went about $500 more.
“The feedback has kind of been overwhelming. I didn’t expect to see that much. But with the beauty of Instagram, we’ve had so many people tagging us and thanking us. It was really nice to see people going to get the meals and enjoying them.”
Jeff and Julie got the idea when they learned about Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s similar pledge to Detroit-area hospital workers. Dr. Dan Deckelbaum, assistant to the head team physician for the Canadiens, has been part of the leadership response team fighting the pandemic at Montreal General Hospital, which cemented the Petrys plan to give back.
“To hear [Deckelbaum is] heading it all up, we were blown away,” Julie told the Canadiens website. “He’s been so great to us. We had just seen this initiative from the Staffords and thought it would make perfect sense for us to do for the staff back in Montreal.”
Aside from helping hospital workers, the Petrys also wanted to support restaurants in Montreal that are struggling as people practice social distancing.
“It was kind of a two-for that not only could we help give a little boost to the hospital employees, we could also boost the local restaurants that we love,” Julie said. “We love the local eateries there and have formed relationships with different restaurants, so it was kind of a no-brainer.”
NHL.com columnist Dave Stubbs contributed to this story