Wyoming Cowboy football players visited St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Hospital on Dec. 21 to meet with patients and present some with gifts as part of the community outreach portion of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
“We love having the University of Wyoming come here as part of the Potato Bowl festivities,” Dan Mediate, communications manager for St. Luke’s, said. “It is awesome to have them and it is so fun to see them interact with some of our patients here.”
On the day before the big game players took time to walk around the hospital and interact with the patients inside. When interacting with the patients the players would also give out a present to some that consisted of Wyoming Potato Bowl t-shirts, duffle bags and even footballs signed by the team members in attendance.
Even though some of the patients were Boise State University Bronco fans, they offered their support to Wyoming by wishing them luck in the bowl game and hoping that they will win.
Both the players and patients had smiles on their faces during their interaction and were able to have conversations that had to be stopped by the guides so that the group could move on to the next patient.
Amy Crookston, a volunteer on the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl council, said, “To see those players with the patients it makes the patients day, the smiles on their face, and to see those big, rough and tough get down and real-time talk to these patients, it sometimes brings a tear to your eye.”
For Crookston, who has been volunteering with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for 15 years, this is her favorite event outside of the actual game.
Patients in the hospital are going through treatment to help with the loss of mobility due to accidents, sicknesses, and strokes. Some patients are able to come and go for treatment while others have to live inside the hospital.
Anita Kissée, St. Luke’s Public Relations Manager, said “We are just always honored when people stop to take time to spend time with our patients who maybe can’t get out to some of the games. It is really a treat for us to be able to bring the game to them and we are so thankful.”
There are many events still on the agenda before the game tomorrow, including an alumni gathering and “Mash Bash,” both hosted later tonight.