Colorado Avalanche players help families in tough circumstances get into the holiday spirit with their annual Children’s Hospital visit.
The Colorado Avalanche made their annual holiday visit to ChIldren’s Hospital on Monday, December 10, after practice. This tradition has been going on pretty much since the team relocated to Denver.
The players look forward to these visits every year. Our captain, Gabriel Landeskog, remarked that the players get into the holiday spirit and “look to spread some joy.”
Naturally, they love giving back to the community. However, they often express gaining inspiration from the patients, who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses. Young forward Tyson Jost said of the situation:
"“It’s a tough time of year. Obviously you want to be with family. [The patients] are in pretty tough circumstances, but they’re so positive. Just the smile that it brings on their faces is very uplifting to us. We’re just happy to be here and try to help out.”"
Here’s the video the team made of the visit:
The players consistently state the annual visit is one of their favorite activities:
During the visit, some of the players wear festive Avalanche hats:
Today was our annual holiday hospital visit!#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/H61RAzLt44
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) December 10, 2018
Kids who are stuck in the hospital get a bright spot to their days when they get to meet their favorite hockey players:
Jack seemed really excited to get to meet Nathan MacKinnon.
Often the visits incorporate working with therapy dogs — who in this case got festooned with Avalanche gear for the occasion:
To be honest, there really isn’t enough puppy content in Avs Nation:
Mikko Rantanen got in on the puppy act, too:
The players go from room to room, visiting patients, signing autographs, and sometimes handing out stuffed Bernies:
They even got into the spirit by singing Happy Birthday to a patient:
Sometimes going into the hospital rooms necessitates gearing up:
The players have a little fun with it:
I was told recently that the Golden Era players started the holiday visiting tradition on their own, pretty informally. I can’t verify that, and it’s all team-organized and led now. However, I love that these families get the opportunity to see professional athletes come in and genuinely enjoy spending time with their sick kiddos, making them happy.
Though not from the hospital visit:
Happy Holidays, Colorado Avalanche fans!