Celtics Spread Holiday Cheer to Children
BOSTON – For many, the holiday season is a time of joy and provides a chance to spend time with family and friends. Sadly, though, there are many children who are spending the holidays in the hospital due to illness.
The Boston Celtics spent time with both the Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) patients Monday afternoon to ensure that these youth received a memorable experience during the holiday season. Celtics players Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Leandro Barbosa, Avery Bradley, Jason Collins and Jared Sullinger, as well as coaches, hung out with 100 kids from BMC at the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. The other half of the team – Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Chris Wilcox and more coaches – visited CHB patients.
With a 360-degree view of Boston at the Skywalk, players and kids enjoyed playing board games and eating a light dinner. Like many other events, Rondo, an avid Connect 4 player, challenged the youth to a game to see if they could break his undefeated record. Sullinger offering tips on how to beat Rondo while spent time with some of the kids before they faced off against the All-Star point guard. After several hard fought attempts, Rondo remained undefeated but managed to leave a smile on all of the kids’ faces.
The youth sat around the players and sang holiday songs following their meal. Despite the off-key notes by a many of the players, the group sang several songs and enjoyed the time they spent with the children. To close the afternoon, the players and coaches, with the help of Santa, gave each child a gift.
“It was great spending time with youth from the Boston Medical Center,” said Bradley. “They’ve been through a lot and it’s nice for them to be able to come here today and just have fun.”
Over at the Children’s Hospital Boston, players were hosting a holiday party in the patient entertainment center. While in the center, patients were decorating cupcakes with the help of the players. Terry and Green took pride in their artistic skills as they playfully tried to outperform each other with their cupcake designs.
In addition to cupcake decorating, patients had the opportunity to take a photo with an image of the Garden superimposed in the background so that they would have a memento from the day.
The party culminated with the singing of holiday songs. Pierce took the lead as the group rocked out to “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Once the caroling ended, the players and coaches took some time to visit individual patients who weren’t able to make it to the entertainment center. The patients’ faces lit up with they saw their favorite Celtics players emerge through their hospital room doors.
“I can’t imagine what these kids are going through, but I hope we were able to bring them some holiday cheer today,” said Pierce. “We met a lot of great kids and had fun spending time with them.”