Gophers, Vikings Visit Amplatz Children's Hospital

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Dec. 18, 2013

Written by Tori Dixon
University of Minnesota Student Development Intern

University of Minnesota student-athletes visited the Univesrity of Minnesota Amplatz Childrens' Hospital in Minneapolis on Tuesday, December 17th at the hospital's Holiday Party put on by the Minnesota Vikings.

Viking center John Sullivan was honored as the Minnesota Vikings Community Man of the Year. For the past three years, Sullivan has hosted Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Holiday parties for Amplatz Children's Hospital.

The University of Minnesota also has a strong connection with Amplatz Children's Hospital. The University of Minnesota student-athletes are hosting the Unlimited Dance Marathon. The 12-hour dance marathon at Mariucci Arena is on February 22-23. The event is designed to raise funds and awareness for Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Unlimited Dance Marathon is a yearlong fundraising and awareness campaign for the fight against pediatric health issues. In addition to the no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon, the event will feature personal stories from children and families served through the resources Amplatz provides. Participants dancing in the marathon will earn pledges for their dance time. Similar to Penn State's THON event, this is the fourth year of the marathon held on the University of Minnesota campus and the first year with involvement from the Gopher student-athlete population.  

At the holiday party, the Gopher student-athletes and the Minnesota Vikings players interacted with children, families, and other guests who attended. There were plenty of attractions including crafts, photo areas, autograph sessions, food, dancing, music, and food.

In total, there were approximately 100 people at the holiday party. The student-athletes in attendance were Chris Hawthorne (Football), Tori Dixon (Volleyball), Katherine Windsor (Rowing), MacKenzie Misel (Soccer), Milica McMillen (Women's Hockey), and Jenna Howenstein (Women's Swimming and Diving). Minnesota Vikings Players Jeff Baca, Matt Cassel, Brandon Fusco, Charlie Johnson, Matt Kalil, Jeff Locke, Kevin Murphy, and Jerome Simpson were also in attendance.

"It was really special to see these families enjoying their time at the holiday party." Katherine Windsor stated, "There is nothing greater than knowing that we are a part of a community who cares deeply about these kids and their families around this time of the year. We are truly blessed here at the University and in the state of Minnesota to be surrounded by such great people."