August 5 - Mayo Clinic NICU Family Reunion

This event was hosted by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and we were invited to manage activities and lining up special guests. What an honor to have one of our facilities reach out to us for a change. The event is an annual event for the neonatal unit in Rochester, for all patients and families from the previous five years. The weather looked like it would be full of rain for days leading up to the event, but not a drop came and the sky was full of sun!

Nearly 500 children and parents registered, and the suspicion is there were plenty who didn’t check in. There were approximately 70 boys, 60 girls, and 365 family members, among the many volunteers. For a Day Foundation of Southern MN set up several activity stations, including bean bags – custom made For a Day bean bags, that is – hula hoops, squirt gun race, makeup, tiaras, tattoos and face painting. The kids absolutely loved the police and fire themed tattoos. We opted to use plastic tiaras for this event, given the expected numbers, but they were still a huge hit!

The guests consisted of members of the Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sherriff’s Office, Mayo Clinic nursing, Mayo Clinic doctors, and Army veteran, and Spiderman. The kids loved the firetruck tours and were excited to see the canine on site. Mayo Clinic staff set up a pretend doctor station where kids could dress as doctors and care for babies; such a blessing to witness. So many participants and volunteers thanked our team for the efforts and look forward to working with us in the future. We emptied a large supply of makeup, nail polish, tiaras, and tattoos. This was a memorable event, and by far the largest we’ve ever been a part of. One of the more memorable moments was when a sibling of a past patient talked about her brother as the “guest of honor.” Witnessing the hearts of these youngsters is exactly why we do what we do.

We’ll be back next year!

Other attendees: Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Police Department, Rochester Sheriff’s Department, Nurses, Doctors, Spiderman