When it comes to putting a smile on a child’s face the Dallas Stars know exactly what to do on and off the ice. On Tuesday, the entire team took time out of their day to visit the patients at the Children’s Medical Center Dallas. The visit to the Children’s Medical Center is an annual tradition for the Dallas Stars and one that the team always looks forward to.
The team met at the Children’s Medical Center after morning practice and split up into several groups to visit different playrooms in the hospital. The players passed out autographed player cards to all the kids and participated in several different activities from coloring, video games, Guess Who and Foosball. Stars forward Steve Ott
participated in a rousing game of Jenga against a patient, while defenseman Adam Pardy
got beaten at air hockey by a young fan.
Players also made visits to individual patient rooms for those that weren’t well enough to make it to the playrooms. Several of the players donned gloves, masks and hospital robes in order to visit the patients in restricted rooms, making sure no one was left out. The patients were so happy to see the Dallas Stars that one patient asked for a hug from each player that came to visit him.
“It’s a great thing that we are able to do this for families who won’t be able to go home for Christmas,” said defenseman Alex Goligoski
. “Not only do we get to see the kids and talk to them but it’s great to see how happy it makes the parents as well. Sometimes I think they appreciate our visits as much as the kids do. This is my favorite event of the year.”
Forward Vernon Fiddler
made a young boy’s day when he took the jersey off his back and gave it to the patient. Fiddler also offered to bring the boy and his family to an upcoming Dallas Stars game. Then he and fellow forward Jake Dowell
sat down to a game of Guess Who.
“It’s wonderful that we get to do this and bring smiles to the kids’ faces,” said Fiddler. “I enjoyed being able to give my jersey to the young boy. He seemed very happy and shocked that I gave it to him. I can always get another one.”
It’s moments like this that make the visit to the Children’s Medical Center a favorite for both the Dallas Stars, the patients and their families. Even when they aren’t scoring goals, the Dallas Stars are finding a way to make people smile.