Friday, December 23, 2011

Sports stars score holiday smiles

HOLIDAY HOME RUN: McDonald high-fives with an MGHfC patient.

December was an all-star month at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), with holiday visits from players from the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. The Red Sox Holiday Caravan stopped by MGHfC Dec. 13 with pitcher Michael Bowden, center fielder Darnell McDonald, catchers Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Wally the Green Monster. The players and Wally chatted with patients and handed out autographed Wally dolls.

The athletes were particularly eager to meet Josh Sharpe, an 18-year-old patient and diehard Sox fan.  After learning the Sox visited another local hospital, Sharpe tweeted asking the team to visit MGHfC. “We read your Twitter post and now we’re here,” Lavarnway said.

On Dec. 20, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid and forwards Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley brought a wagon loaded with toys to the Ellison 18 playroom as part of their annual holiday toy donation. To welcome the special guests, MGHfC patients decked out their rooms in Bruins gear, including miniature Stanley Cup trophies.

Patient Connor Smiddy, 14, showed Bergeron a photo they had taken together at a game in the TD Garden when he was 7 years old. On Ellison 17, Peverley and 3-year-old Alexis Pereira compared favorite Disney characters. Alexis is a fan of Cinderella and Snow White, while Peverley’s daughter prefers Tinkerbell.

For more photos from these and other MGHfC holiday events, visit

Read more articles from the 12/23/11 Hotline issue.


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