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Posted December 20, 2012
Teams from the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Pete Bowl Make a Special Visit to All Children’s Hospital

St. Pete Bowl Teams Visit ACH
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Football players, cheerleaders and mascots from the University of Central Florida and the Ball State visited patients at All Children's Hospital on Thursday, Dec. 19. The teams are in town to compete in the Annual Beef 'O' Brady's St. Pete Bowl at Tropicana Field, set for Friday, December 21.

During the room-to-room visit, players and cheerleaders gave out team memorabilia, signed autographs and posed for pictures.

"This is a great experience and something I've never done before," said Ball State Quarterback, Keith Wenning.  "To see a smile on their faces is like no other feeling.  This is the greatest thing we've done all week. "
Scott Peterson, who will serve as a game referee on Friday night, also came along for the visit with several of the referees.

"One of the officials in our conference has a daughter going through Leukemia treatments, so we are all very aware of what is going on with her," he said. "We asked if we come along with the teams today and join them on their visit.  What's really great is watching the kids' faces light up when the mascots come in the room. That's worth the trip."

Mary Brown and her daughter Angela, a high school student and a patient at All Children's, also enjoyed meeting the players and cheerleaders.

"Angela, is starting to think about college," says Mary. "It was wonderful for her to get a chance to talk to all the college kids. We are already planning to visit UCF when she gets better ."

Mike Alstott and wife Nicole were also on hand for the visit. Alstott, a retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback, is the honorary chairman for the bowl game.

Speaking to the teams before the visit, Alstott said, "Each one of you are role models and are influential. What you guys do by signing autographs and just saying "hi" really helps these kids take their mind off being in the hospital, and that's very important."

"We look forward each year to visiting the patients at All Children's," said Carlos Padilla, Assistant Executive Director of the Beef O'Brady's St. Pete Bowl. "This is a great opportunity for the student athletes to give something back to the community."