HANOVER, N.H. - The Dartmouth men's hockey team made its annual visit to the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (CHaD) Monday afternoon to deliver toys donated by fans at its two most recent home games.
Fans of the Big Green brought new unwrapped toys during two wins against Bentley on Dec. 1 and Vermont on Dec. 5 for the team to donate. Monday afternoon, all 28 players gathered at the rink, filled their cars with bags and boxes of toys and made the short trip up the road to CHaD.
Once there, they played games, visited rooms, talked with parents and met with some of the kids.
Also, several of the student-athletes volunteered their time to wash windows, sanitize toys and clean up the playroom. The freshman class, making their first trip as members of the Big Green, were given a tour of the unit to see first-hand what kind of treatment is provided to the patients.
"The holiday season here is much more than just Christmas Day," Holly Gaspar, a child life specialist at CHaD said. "It's about supporting the needs of hospitalized children all year round.
"Now, these kids get to go home and say, 'Guess what happened to me while I was in the hospital! I got to see the Dartmouth hockey team!' So an event like this is extremely impactful for our patients around the winter holidays," Gaspar commented.
In between games of hallway bowling and Jenga with his teammates, junior Matt Lindblad reflected on his third CHaD visit since coming to Dartmouth.
"This is something we look forward to every year," the junior forward and alternate captain said. "I think this year was one of the best trips. We had so many donations from our fans, and the kids were extremely excited to see us when we first got there with all the bags over our shoulders.
"Visits like this are important for us because it really shows that we are part of the community while we attend school," Lindblad added. "Having those kids come out and play with us for as long as they could and talking with us about hockey and school is great for them, but I think it means just as much, if not more, for us to have those kinds of interactions."
This year's trip was another successful one because of the unbelievable outpouring of support from the community that donated during the two games. The team and CHaD employees all remarked at the amount of gifts that were brought to the facility Monday afternoon.
Thank you to those who
donated and continue to make the team's CHaD Toy Drive and visit a regular
success each year.
|The team posed for photos with children on the floor after playing games.|
|Matt Lindblad (L) and Brett Patterson (R) show off their favorite toy.|
|Senior Mark Goggin talked with one little boy after giving him several toy cars.|
Junior Nick Lovejoy shows off a stuffed giraffe before his arts and crafts time with the kids.