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July 24, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Core value No. 1 for Penn State Football is ensuring that every member of the program has a positive attitude at all times.
When the entire team boarded three buses on Wednesday afternoon, head coach James Franklin and the Nittany Lions set out on a mission to make a visit to Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital one filled with positivity and enthusiasm.
The team arrived at the hospital to a rousing cheer from medical center staff members, patients and their families. The Nittany Lions and staff split up into groups for guided tours to visit with patients and their families in different sections of the hospital.
"We are really excited about being here," Franklin said. "Penn State has an unbelievable tradition of giving back, obviously with THON, but we love that our new freshmen were able to do something like this as soon as they got on campus...This turned out really well. We are excited about it. I know our players are excited about it, just watching them interact with the children who are here overcoming some incredible obstacles."
Several groups of players visited with non-ambulatory patients in their rooms in the Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Intermediate Care and Medical/Surgical units. Other groups spent time engaging with ambulatory patients in the Tree House Cafe where they signed autographs and played games.
"This was just a great opportunity for us to come here and make an impact on the community," sophomore Adam Breneman said. "With training camp coming up and the pressure that will be on the team, it's really neat to come here and see the kids and see what they are going through, it puts things in perspective for us. You realize that we have good health and we are very fortunate for that."
Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is a 263,000-square-foot, five-story facility. The nearly $207 million facility was built adjacent to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's main entrance.
"There is nothing more important than taking the time to share a smile with somebody and making a positive impact on their life," Franklin said. "Coming here and having this type of visit, it puts things in perspective for you."