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Sharing Smiles: Leafs visit Sick Kids

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by Paulette Minard

Sporting his favourite Mats Sundin jersey, three-year-old Deen Mohideen made sure he was the first to arrive in Marnie's Lounge at the Hospital for Sick Children on January 22, 2003.

On this day, though, he wasn't interested in the stockpile of games available for the kids to play, rather, he eagerly awaited the arrival of his favourite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As part of the Maple Leafs Community Relations efforts, the players took a break from their hectic on-ice schedule to visit Toronto's Hospital For Sick Children.

Deen Mohideen meets his hero, Mats Sundin.

This special afternoon is the highlight on the team's calendar for many of the children at Sick Kids, who eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share special time with their favourite players. Welcome respite from the day-to-day rigours of their battles with illness.

Led by Captain Mats Sundin, the entire team was on hand to help brighten the afternoon of more than 300 young patients.

The visit began in Marnie's Lounge where players took time for photos and autographs before breaking into smaller groups for visits throughout the entire hospital. The private tours allowed the patients to spend personal one-on-one time with their favourite Leafs, exchange stories and receive special gifts.

The Maple Leafs annual visit to Sick Kids marks a long-standing tradition that has immeasurable impact on both the kids and the players.

For Deen the photos, autographs and gifts were a great, but the opportunity to be face-to-face with his hockey heroes was paramount as evidenced in his smile, and well worth the early arrival to Marnie's Lounge.

Trevor Kidd makes a new friend.

All the Leafs had their autograph hands working overtime

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