January 11, 2006
The Dallas Stars made their annual hospital visits to the Children's Medical Center of Dallas on Tuesday morning and to Cooks Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon. The looks on the faces of the children at both hospitals were inspiring and had the players talking long after they got in their cars and departed for home.
The players know they have a responsibility to the community and there is no better place to give back than to the children who's faces light up each time a player would come by to talk with them.
Some of the players, like Bill Guerin, would walk into rooms with other children who were not on the scheduled list for visits. No matter what was going on in those rooms, Guerin always got the kids laughing. He entered one room with a child that looked stunned to see him. Guerin said, "Tell the nurse to put on our game on the television on Thursday night against Washington. That way you can find out who came in here to visit you. You see, we're not just these weird guys in big green jerseys."
The hardest thing to determine was who it had a bigger impact on - the kids or the players.
"This means a lot to us," said Mike Modano. "We missed them during the holiday season and it's great to see the joy that comes when we walk into the room and the smiles that are on their faces are just priceless."
Due to the Stars hectic schedule in December, the team had to move their hospital visits to January. They felt that most of the area teams' visits are made around the holiday season so it wouldn't be such a bad thing to come at a different time so the children could look forward to something after the holidays as well.
"I think the kids are more excited to see the teddy bears that we have instead of seeing us," said Brenden Morrow with a smile. "We really wanted to come up here and see these great kids. I truly enjoy doing this and I hope the kids get something out of it too."
They sure do Brenden. More than we may ever know.