With the Halloween season upon us, the Los Angeles Chargers turned Hoag Performance Center into a trick-or-treat trail for some very special guests.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn joined players Joey Bosa, Damion Square, Rayshawn Jenkins and Chris Landrum as well as the Charger Girls to welcome families from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) for a night of fun.
"It was just great seeing the kids and being able to put a smile on their faces," mentioned Bosa. "To watch them do some arts and crafts was fun. I even had a little fun myself!"
"It means so much to these families because all day long, they're dealing with diagnoses," said Jeri Wilson, Executive Director of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. "We had one family who isn't here tonight because their refrigerator went out and they had to buy a new refrigerator for their medicine because they have to go to chemo tomorrow. To come here, and walk around and be part of this community means the world to these families. It's great to have really great role models for these kids to look up to. We have a platform at the foundation called Never Quit. We just keep telling the kids, never quit. If they keep working and fighting like this, then you can be a player like these guys when they grow up."
The trick or treat trail started in the Chargers weight room where kids and their families were greeted with a goodie bag to collect candy. They then moved into the team's cafeteria and film rooms where they either created spiders out of cookies and pretzels or made their own arts and crafts skeletons. After that, the group made their way to the locker room and practice field for some spooky photo ops before ending in the team meeting room for a pizza party and movie. Pizza Hut and Melissa's Produce provided food for the evening.
For the Chargers players and PCRF alike, putting on an event like this was truly special and one that will leave a lasting impact on everyone involved.
"Any time I get to do something like this, it's an unbelievable opportunity to really put things into perspective in your life," reflected Bosa, who is a strong supporter of funding for research into pediatric cancer. "To see what they're going through, and how they're able to enjoy life and have a smile on their face (while) going through what they are going through (is remarkable). Any time I can brighten their day and change their day a little bit is worth it…. It probably even has a greater impact on me (and) hits me pretty deep when I see something like that."
"The Chargers are such a legacy organization," Wilson added. "For the team to be part of what we're doing helps us show this community cares, this organization cares. We've been around for going on 36 years now, so to have the team move into our backyard just gives the families an opportunity to meet some idols that they see on TV and are real people who are giving from the heart."