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News Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Philadelphia Shriners Hospital hosts special guests for NFL Play 60 event

2017 NFL Draft prospects visit patients

The Philadelphia Shriners Hospital hosted some special guests recently. To kick off an exciting week of 2017 NFL Draft activities, 22 of the prospects visited our hospital to interact with our patients for a very special event.

As part of the NFL Play 60 initiative, kids of all ability levels are encouraged to be active for 60-minutes each day. The NFL Play 60 All-Ability Guide, created when the NFL teamed up with Shiners Hospitals for Children, offers ideas for interactive adaptive play activities for children with varying physical abilities to live an active lifestyle. The NFL prospects' visit to our hospital reinforces and demonstrates the NFL Play 60 movement’s commitment to ensuring that no child is left sitting on the sidelines.

Throughout the event, the prospects interacted and played with the patients in various all-ability activities, including ultimate football, fitness stations, a photo booth and football-themed art projects.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia Administrator Ed Myers stated, “We are fortunate, that the Chicago Shriners Hospital has taken part in the same event for the last two years. When the NFL announced the draft was coming to Philadelphia, we hoped we would benefit from a Play 60 [event] too.”

“Our kids really had a lot of fun, said Mary Ann Roberto, child life specialist. “You could feel the excitement the air for the patients and the prospects. They really seemed to interact and bond with each other, providing an experience I think neither will ever forget.”

In addition to facilitating this amazing opportunity for patients and the NFL prospects, the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital also acted as the main media hub for the day. Over 100 media outlets were able to capture footage of the event and interview several of the prospects on the special media floor. The event was covered by FOX, ABC, Penn Live and USA Today, among others.

Alec Cabacungan, 14, an aspiring sports broadcaster and Chicago Shriners Hospital patient, interviewed draft prospects during the event. Alec has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). He has starred in several Shriners Hospitals for Children commercials.

We are happy and honored to know that some of the top NFL prospects chose to spend part of their special experience at our hospital leading up the Draft.

The visiting prospects included: Corey Davis (Western Michigan) Leonard Fournette (LSU), Solomon Thomas (Stanford), and Mitchell Trubinsky (North Carolina).

NFL draft prospects with patients