The entire team made the trip out to Children's Medical Center after a morning practice. The players split up into groups and visited all 6 playrooms, where video games, basketball, and arts and crafts were a hit with the children. They distributed goodie bags to each child, full of Stars lunchboxes, stickers, pencils, and player cards to be autographed. The players also made visits to the patient rooms, so that the patients who weren't well enough to go to the playrooms could participate in the fun and get a visit from a surprise visitor. The experience really hit home for some of the players that have children of their own.
"This is the least that we could do- to put a smile on the children's faces. This is one my favorite things about doing what we do. We are all so lucky to have healthy children and it is hard to see these guys stuck in the hospital during the holidays. I just hope they had fun!" said defenseman Stephane Robidas
, father of two.
Stars forward Steve Ott
, who is also father to a healthy little girl, went above and beyond to make sure that one special patient got a big smile. The Dallas Stars were made aware of a 5 year old boy named Mavrick who is suffering from a rare combination of three different types of Leukemia. Mavrick is a huge Stars fan, and his family members wrote a letter to the Stars suggesting how special it would be for Mavrick to get a visit from a player, especially Steve Ott
. Ott heard Mavrick's story and couldn’t wait to get a chance to meet him. As the rest of the team said goodbye to the children and headed out, Ott found Mavrick in his room, where he and his " Otter" stuffed animal were waiting. Ott hung out with Mavrick for a while, signed autographs, took pictures, played a few games, and even autographed and gave Mavrick the jersey off his back, doing everything in his power to cheer up the little boy and make his day.
Mavrick's mom, April, said that the experience was one that they won't forget. "He was kind of shy at first, but then he and Steve started playing the Wii, and he got really excited that Steve gave him the personalized jersey. My husband was wearing a Steve Ott
jersey at the time, too- but now Mavrick has the best one! It was a really great day for us because Mavrick got to come home that day as well, and he wouldn't stop talking about his favorite Stars player, Steve Ott
Thanks to the generosity and kindness of Steve Ott
and the rest of the Dallas Stars team, a little bit of Holiday magic was felt around the hospital, on a day that always serves as an emotional and uplifting one, for both the players and patients alike.