Seahawks Luke Willson and Tanner McEvoy take community service to heart.
“We have a platform,” said tight end Willson, in his fifth year with Seattle. “I think it’s important to … be a good role model for the youngsters and the youth of North America.”
Avista and the Providence Healthcare Foundation flew Willson and McEvoy to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital for a special visit on Wednesday.
Willson said his visit was his first to Spokane.
“To see how many big Seahawk fans there are is pretty neat,” Willson said.
“The staff here is incredible; they do stuff day to day that … goes unnoticed,” said wide receiver McEvoy, who is in his second year with the Seahawks. “It’s just great to come out here and try to put some smiles on some faces.”
“They visited every room in the hospital, which has never been done before,” said Family Support Services Director Kirsten Carlile. “They saw every pediatric patient that they could while they were here.
“Help and healing doesn’t come just from medical intervention. It comes from these very special moments … where kids forget, maybe just for a day, that they are sick.”
“Today was for celebrating that they were the VIPs,” she added.
Willson said he grew up in Canada and used to see junior hockey players visit the community.
“As pro athletes, it’s a part of our job to give back,” he said.
Staffers and patients chanted, “Sea-HAWKS! Sea-HAWKS!” as the players appeared for the 12th man flag-raising, stretching mightily to provide a human gate for the 6-foot-6 McEvoy and the 6-foot-5 Willson to pass through.
Patients Logan Temple and Larissa Espinoza helped raise the flags.
“Logan seemed like a guy that if I was his age we’d probably be buddies,” Willson said. “Getting to chat with him a little bit was pretty fun.”
McEvoy said he enjoyed the flag-raising. “And the little dance party was definitely something I won’t forget,” he said.
Willson burst out laughing at the mention of the dance party, where McEvoy and Willson re-enacted their now-famous flute dance.
“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was great to see so much Hawk spirit.”
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