June 12 - St. Mary's Hospital Picnic

Our annual summer BBQ at St. Mary’s in Rochester was another great event. Though the weather didn't cooperate and we had to have an indoor picnic, the kids were still delighted. There were 6 girls, 4 boys and 10 family members present. We had stations for nails and makeup with tiaras. We had our beanbag toss and hula hoops. Chic-Fil-A catered the picnic and brought along their cow mascot, wearing his "Eat More Chicken" t-shirt. He was a big hit for photo ops. Approximately 10 Rochester police attended, with plastic badges for the kids. Even the officers wanted pictures with the Chic-Fil-A cow! 3 Rochester firefighters also attended and brought stuffed animals for the kids.

Due to being indoors, the K9 presentation consisted of kids watching out the window, but the kids were still very thrilled. They watched with officers, who used their police radios and were still able to ask questions of the handler. We missed our annual relay race between the police and firefighters due to the weather moving us indoors. We had 4 For a Day committee members at the event and had help from the police, firefighters and a cow.

There were 2 little girls, Grace -6 and Clare-3 who were also at our Hero for A Day event in March, taking in everything there was to do. Grace even was the nail painter for a firefighter. Grace and Clare are waiting for their baby brother Gunnar to get a strong enough heart to return to North Dakota. We learned shortly after the event that Gunnar passed away. As hard as it is to know and hear about these types of endings, it’s such a beautiful blessing to have an impact in the lives of children and their families at the most critical of times.

Another boy, 3-year-old Ryker, was so unhappy dragging his IV around, so his mom got the nurses to unhook him for 30 minutes. He made the most of getting around without the IV. His sister became our most "made up" girl of the day. Many of the children could not get out of their rooms for the picnic, so the police officers took tiaras and badges along on room visits to those kiddos.

We spent about 2 hours at the hospital and staff were extremely grateful we were there again. One of the parents told me their children had an absolute blast, and that it means so much to parents to see their kids enjoying themselves like that. They thanked us for our involvement. It’s safe to say we’ll be back next summer for what hopefully turns out to be our typical outdoor BBQ and fun!