Dec. 29, 2004
While the Seminoles have been kept busy since arriving in Jacksonville on Sunday, they made it a priority to make time for the kids. Several members of the Florida State football team joined members of the West Virginia football program Wednesday afternoon on a visit to the Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
“This was a great experience,” senior linebacker Ray Piquion said. “Even though we’ve been up since like about six in the morning with practice and what not, it’s just a good feeling. It would be easy to say we’re too tired to come out here and do this, but I am so glad I came. It most definitely makes me appreciate what I have. Seeing those who are less fortunate reminds you to be grateful for what you have and that you are blessed.”
The group pulled sleds full of toys filled with stuffed Santas, stuffed animals and FSU socks and distributed them to the children.
“It’s always exciting to be around little kids,” senior defensive tackle Travis Johnson said. “I love kids, especially kids who can’t be out to enjoy the game or be out to doing the things that we’re able to do. We take those things for granted. But really, we just wanted to get together and really just show love to the kids.”
The Seminoles also gave several autographs and encouraged the kids to watch the Gator Bowl on Saturday.
“It’s very exciting to be able to go to a children’s hospital and brighten up their day a little bit,” junior center David Castillo said. “Some of these kids are struggling with some serious health issues and especially around the holidays, we get to come in and give back. We’re blessed to get to do this.
And what about spending the afternoon with the West Virginia Mountaineers?
“We don’t hate West Virginia or anything,” Castillo said. “All of the grudges or animosity amongst the two teams, you put that away when you get to do something great for children like this.”
The camaraderie between the two teams was appreciated by all who participated, but there were still a great deal of FSU fans along the way.
“There were some Florida State fans,” Piquion said. “They’re hoping that we win the game. Most of them are from here so they are going to pull for the home team.”