As Houston kicks off its Super Bowl LI festivities, pediatric patients at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital got a taste of the excitement with a surprise visit from three former Houston Texans players as well as a current member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Texans alumni included retired center Chris Myers and his wife, Jenny; former tight end Garrett Graham and his wife, Ericka; and retired offensive guard Wade Smith. The trio was joined by Clinton McDonald, a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a Super Bowl XLVIII champion.
The players went room-to-room throughout the hospital, hand-delivering baskets of comforting goodies that were packaged by the national nonprofit group Super Baskets of Hope, which supplies gifts annually to pediatric patients in Houston and beyond. Each basket contains toys, games, craft items, educational items and stuffed animals.
“With Super Bowl LI taking place just down the street from us, this surprise visit was a real treat for our kids and really helped get them in the spirit,” said Alyssa Luksa, manager of child life and expressive therapies at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “We’re so grateful that these players took time out of their busy day to bring a little joy and optimism to our patients and their families.”
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has a long-standing partnership with Super Baskets of Hope. The Houston chapter has been arranging visits to the hospital and delivering hundreds of baskets to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital patients and their families for eight years.
This year marked a special occasion for the two entities. In celebration of the big game’s arrival in Houston, Memorial Hermann, which is a founding sponsor and Official Healthcare Provider of the Super Bowl LI Host Committee, donated $5,000 to Super Baskets of Hope. The check was presented earlier this week as hundreds of volunteers converged on BBVA Stadium to prepare the baskets for delivery to hospitals across the country.