Cardinals provide holiday smiles

GO CARDINALS Big Red was popular during his visit to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Big Red was popular during his visit to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Dec. 8, 2011

BEAUMONT, Texas - Student-athletes from Lamar University have been busy spreading holiday joy this month to youngsters throughout the Golden Triangle.

Cardinals and Lady Cardinals have treated members of the Boys & Girls Club of Beaumont to a day of fun at Colorado Canyon, put smiles on the faces of pediatric patients at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital and watched a movie and played laser tag with children who are living at the local women's shelter.

"The student-athletes get a sense of fulfillment by doing these things," said Lamar Athletics Coordinator Tic Price, who is in charge of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). "They get a feeling of knowing they did something positive for the community."

At Colorado Canyon, the LU student-athletes played miniature golf and video games with the Boys & Girls Club members. The fun didn't end when the games were done, as the LU students had a pizza party with the youngsters and handed out T-shirts and souvenir miniature Lamar sports balls.

At Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, the student-athletes were joined by Big Red, the Lamar Cardinals' mascot, as they visited the young patients who were in the hospital for the holidays. The young patients received miniature Lamar sports balls as a memento.

"Big Red was the hit of the event," Price said. "You should have seen the smiles on those young faces."

In the latest outing, Lamar student-athletes, cheerleaders and Big Red treated youngsters from the local women and children's facility to games of Laser Tag and the movie "Cars 2," complete with popcorn and soda. Each youngster also got a Lamar Slinky, an LU T-shirt and a Lamar miniature sports ball.

The student-athletes seemed to be having as much fun as the youngsters at the events.

"I feel I'm blessed, and I want to give something back," Lamar football player Jeremy Kirt, the SAAC vice president, said. "There's a responsibility that comes with being a student-athlete. We are looked up to, and when we can make someone smile, it's a tremendous feeling."

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