Badgers spread holiday cheer at St. Catharines hospital

The Brock University men’s hockey team made a highlight-reel play on Friday.

The Badgers paid a visit to the Children’s Health Unit at Niagara Health’s St. Catharines site on a mission to bring holiday cheer to the little ones inside.

Captain Connor Walters, alongside forwards Jared Marino, Justin Brack, Frankie Pucci, Adam Berg, Matthew Campese and Head Coach Marty Williamson, journeyed the hallways of the Children’s Unit to bring holiday cheer.

“Being a local and playing on a local team, it’s nice to give back to the community,” said Marino, who hails from Niagara Falls. “Coming to the Hospital every year is something the guys look forward to. Sharing some love and gifts with these kids around this time of the year is not only special for them, but for us, too.”

The team traveled room to room to spend time with kids and their families as they handed out gifts and toys.

“This time of year the children here are extra sad, because they’re in the hospital and it’s the holidays,” said Niagara Health Child Life Specialist Lori Marino. “It brightens their day and makes our job easier when we have special community visitors like the Brock Badgers.”

The Children’s Unit consists of 24 beds and provides a full range of pediatric services to children up to age 18. The unit is specially designed for younger patients and their families, with vibrant colours found throughout, a play room, artwork on the walls, special lighting and other unique features.

An intensive care unit, also referred to as a special care nursery, provides services for newborns who require close observation, care and assessment.

“It’s great for the kids we visit, but it’s also a real grounding moment for our players as well,” said Williamson. “This is real-world stuff and if we can help, then we should do everything we can to brighten their day. Everyone should have the privilege of being healthy, especially children.”

To learn more about how other Brock Sports’ teams are giving back to the Niagara community this holiday season, follow @brockbadgers on Instagram.

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