Hoosiers Make Rewarding Trip to Riley Hospital
April 20, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS - For the second straight year, the Indiana football program visited Riley Hospital for Children on Tuesday evening. Seventy Hoosier players along with head coach Bill Lynch and his wife, Linda, took two buses up State Road 37 to the Circle City.
"This is a great opportunity for our guys," Lynch said. "They realize how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to play Big Ten football and get an education at Indiana University. If we can give a little hope and a little help to these kids while we are here it is a great benefit. Riley is an amazing hospital with amazing people. That is why I think it is a wonderful opportunity for our guys to come and experience it."
Last season, the team's Leadership Council decided to focus its community efforts on two major groups - Riley Hospital for Children and the Boys & Girls Club. The team invited the Bloomington Boys & Girls Club to Memorial Stadium prior to an August practice in 2009.
This year's Leadership Council is carrying on that tradition and the program expects both of these initiatives to become annual events.
The team arrived to Riley at 4 p.m. and following a brief orientation, it was divided into nine groups sent to different wings in the hospital. Each patient received a visit from at least one group. Players visited with the children and their families, signed posters and passed out gift bags during the stay.
"Just seeing the smiles on the kids faces makes the trip worth it," senior quarterback Ben Chappell said. "It is something special and means a lot to us as a team. We have come here two years in a row and it is definitely a great experience."
Riley Special Events Coordinator, Melissa Sexton, said the Hoosiers are still the only team in her nearly 10-year tenure at the hospital that has visited Riley en masse.
"It was very humbling seeing all these great kids and families," junior wide receiver Tandon Doss said. "Hopefully we can keep coming up here. Bringing the joy to the kids faces is the least we can do."
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