Monday, December 29th, 2014

Michigan State Visits Texas Scottish Rite Hospital

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Macatee, CBAA

Head Coach Mark Dantonio and the entire Spartan squad started their Monday morning by visiting at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Patients, staff members and supporters of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic gathered around the hospital’s cafeteria and welcomed the team along with their coaching staff in grand fashion.

President and CEO of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Bob Walker, started the event thanking the Spartans for visiting with them, followed by Head Coach Mark Dantonio’s remarks. Dantonio was presented with a special drawing of a Spartan helmet with the Goodyear and Cotton Bowl Classic logo. The gift was drawn by patient, Haven Emery, a 12-year old Dallas native.

“It’s been a pleasure to be here visiting the children here at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital,” said Dantonio. “We talk a lot to our players about giving back and being givers and not takers by being that light to the community. To be here today as part of the Cotton Bowl is a special experience that we look forward to. I say all the time to our players, that everyone has a story and to hear the stories today, is something we will take with us.”

As the event continued, each Spartan student-athlete went around the room signing autographs for everyone attending. Along with receiving autographs, each player received a Texas Scottish Rite Hospital cap were given upon entering. The team also gave each child a Spartan drawstring bag that included a Spartan foam hat; a basketball; a stuffed Goodyear blimp, provided by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and a Cotton Bowl t-shirt and poster. Attendees also got to enjoy drinks provided by Dr Pepper.

“What an awesome experience this is,” said Offensive Lineman, Jack Allen. “This is one of the more important events of the entire Cotton Bowl. We are here to make their day better, as they make ours.”

Quarterback Connor Cook went around the room making each child smile and laugh while signing autographs. To him, laughter is the best medicine and as a kid that is what he loved to do more than anything. 

“I like to make kids laugh and laugh myself,” said Cook. “I like to crack jokes and make the kids smile. I know when I was their age that is what I loved to do, so today I am going to go around the room and be that funny guy.”

Representatives of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company were also present to meet the children along with the team. The morning was an inspiring experience for them and something that they look forward to being a part of as supporters of the Cotton Bowl Classic.

“Goodyear is passionate about college football,” said Gary Melliere, General Manager of Sponsorship and Marketing Assets. “With the blimps providing aerial coverage of college bowl games for decades, to now being a part of the Cotton Bowl, this is thrilling for us. Today is about the kids and we think it is really awesome to see the teams take time out of their schedules to come out and put a smile on the kids’ faces. It’s just fantastic.”

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