Rush players visit children at Rapid City Regional Hospital

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© Six members of the Rapid City Rush visit 5-year-old Logan in Pediatrics at Regional Hospital, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 © Six members of the Rapid City Rush visit 5-year-old Logan in Pediatrics at Regional Hospital, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Returning from a 12-day road trip, a few players from the Rush hockey team spent Monday afternoon visiting with children in the pediatric department of Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Six players visited two patients, including 5-year-old Logan from Hot Springs.

"It looked like they were having a good time,” said Rush Forward Evan Janssen. “I know Logan painted her nails and got all done up for us today, which was cute."

The second child was 15-month-old Flinn of Eagle Butte. To cheer up the kids and lighten the mood, the players talked to the children and gave them autographed Rush calendars.

"When they are here they are kind of isolated from everyone and sad, and they might have pain, or they might be going through something,” said pediatrics nurse Sheila Mckinstry. “This just lifts their spirits and takes their mind off what’s going on while they're here right now."

Janssen was happy to see the kids were upbeat when the team walked into the room.

"I can't imagine how tough it's been for those families and the children, spending the time in here,” said Janssen. “But it definitely makes us realize how fortunate we are.

It's not only a treat for the child; the parents also find joy in the experience.

"They love to see the smile on [the child] face,” said Mckinstry. “They might not have seen that for a week or so, because their kids have been sick. So, to see them light up and see them have a great time interacting, it just lifts their spirits as well." 

For team captain and longtime player Riley Weselowski, the experience made him feel just as good.

"The feedback from it is what really makes it worth it,” said Weselowski. “Just the people, how they say that it was so important for them and just the impact that it made. When you hear that kind of stuff, it does make you feel like you did a good thing."

The Rush also visited a few schools as well.

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