The Shriners Hospital in Montreal was buzzing with excitement Thursday morning thanks to a visit from former Montreal Impact captain Patrice Bernier.

Bernier was there representing an organization called Kids Playing for Kids. During the visit, Bernier spent time with the children signing autographs and talking soccer.

"Sports and soccer can be very uplifting," he said.

Patient Tyler Donald, in the hospital to treat scoliosis, was impressed by the visit.

"It was pretty cool meeting him. Quite a surprise. It's nice that he would do something like that for all the kids here too," he said.

The visit was also the occasion to launch the upcoming youth soccer tournament that will bring together youth soccer teams from 24 countries, hosted by Kids Playing for Kids.

The proceeds from the event will go to the Shriners, the Children’s and Ste-Justine hospitals. The non-profit organization has already raised more than $400,000 for local hospitals.

The event takes place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 28, with help from more than 3,000 volunteers.