Stampede Players Terry Broadhurst, Max Grover and Dane Walters pose for a picture with a little girl in the hospital at Avera McKennan.
We hope this Christmas finds you safe, happy and warm. Unfortunately, it's a terrible time of year to be sick especially if you are a child. It's amazing what a visit from some star hockey players can do for their spirits. We were at Avera McKennan Hospital when some Stampede players delivered good tidings and teddy bears.
When Stampede player Matt Farris made the boards light up during their December 12th home game, the Pierre native probably wasn't thinking that his goal would result in delight for sick kids, but it did. After the first goal of the night fans were asked to throw a bear on the ice. That initial cold reception turned into a warm visit 5 days later. 3 Sioux Falls Stampede players, Dane Walters, Terry Broadhurt and Max Grover, turned into Santa's little helpers this Christmas season. A time when no one wants to be a patient.
Slung over their shoulders were two huge bags filled with stuffed animals. Of course, the Gund bear with the stampede shirt made special for the event was inside, but people could throw any animal. We dug to find an adorable tiger that will surely make someone happy. And it did for every child they met, no matter the age. The players went room to room in the pediatric unit at Avera McKennan delivering toys for tots gifts and a bag full of bears.
3 year old Landon Greve from Lake Park, Iowa had tubes put in his ears and his adenoids removed. The groggy little boy instinctively greeted the bear with a big bear hug.
Kathy Greve is Landon's mom. While she rocked him she said, "It's incredible. It's so nice of them to do this and such a treat for us. It will be such a nice memory for Landon. Now when we talk about having surgery and being in the hospital during Christmas time, it will be nice to show him that good things happened too."
For the boys, they know charity work like this is all part of being a member of the Stampede because it makes them a valuable member of the community.
Stampede Player Dane Walters says, "It's a lot of fun. I mean it's nice to see the look on t he kids faces when you give them a teddy bear and present. It's rewarding and a really good thing to do."
It's what makes the season bright!
Avera McKennan and the Stampede are going to make the "Teddy Bear Toss" during the Holidays an annual tradition. If you missed out this year, you can buy a bear next year.