Guerin Lights up the Night for Children's Medical Center
December 2, 2003
By J. Douglas Foster
Stars right wing Bill Guerin obviously loves children.
He and his wife, Kara, have four of their own to prove such.
But he doesn't just have a soft spot for his own children. Guerin's admiration of the young ones goes much farther than that, which he proved again Monday night at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.
Guerin, who has been involved in several charities during his NHL career, helped light the Christmas tree at Children's Monday night, joining Santa Claus, Children's Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Durovich and hospital patient Lesly Alvarez, who was celebrating her ninth birthday, in flipping the switch.
It was an invitation Guerin welcomed with open arms, one he could not accept last year as his wife was giving birth to their fourth child, Lexi.
"It's just so nice to see most of those kids have a chance to get outside and enjoy the night," Guerin said. "Plus having Santa there, it was really nice.
"I'm very glad they asked."
Guerin, who was involved with March of Dimes during his days as a New Jersey Devil, finds his new connection with Children's Medical Center to be a perfectly fitting one.
He also said it's an easy effort on his part, considering the life his athletic abilities have given him.
"There are so many kids who just got dealt a bad hand for no real reason," Guerin said. "It doesn't take a very big effort to put a smile on their face for a day or to try and make them feel special. Maybe being a father makes me a little more sensitive to it, but I just know that kids are the most important things in the world. You've got to take care of them.
"We're very fortunate to be in the position where we can help kids out and have an affect on kids' lives. If athletes don't take advantage of that, then they're just crazy."
Patients, family members and employees gathered around the main entrance at Children's for the tree lighting Monday, and to hear the Duncanville Marching band and members of the Garland High School Show Choir.
During the ceremony, representatives of Borden made a check presentation in the amount of $10,000 to Durovich and Children's.
Guerin and his teammates will return to Children's later this month for their special holiday visits, which are always a big hit with those in the hospital.