Owls visit Cook Children’s Hospital

After their final formal practice today before Saturday’s Armed Forces Bowl game, Owls players Turner Petersen, Nate Richards, Michael Kutzler and Gabe Baker joined Sammy the Owl and Rice cheerleaders in visiting Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

The timing couldn’t have been better for the 260 kids who are in the hospital right in the middle of the holidays, according to Julie Dore, program coordinator in the Child Life department at Cook Children’s.

“The kids love it,” Dore said. “It’s fun to get them out of their rooms and involved with the players. They love the uniforms, the mascots and cheerleaders. It’s a huge thrill for them.”

And the players couldn’t agree more, as they handed out mini-owls to the children who had assembled in the large lobby that felt festive with a large Christmas tree and decorations.

“This is so special,” said Rice running back Petersen. “We are so fortunate and so blessed in so many ways, so the opportunity to come here and spend some time with these kids and put a smile on their face is something special for us too.”

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.