INDIANAPOLIS — On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Indianapolis Colts players TE Dwayne Allen, T Anthony Castonzo, S Delano Howell, LB Shawn Loiseau, QB Andrew Luck, RB Mewelde Moore, LS Matt Overton, WR Nathan Palmer, G Joe Reitz, cheerleaders and team mascot, Blue, were joined by Colts Co-Owners and Vice Chairs Carlie Irsay-Gordon and Kalen Irsay to deliver toys and sing Christmas carols with patients at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. The visit concluded the 2012 "Colts Community Tuesday" program for the regular season.
Luck, who announced a partnership with Riley Hospital earlier this season, discussed his passion for spreading joy this holiday season. "When you come to the hospital, you see some of the real life problems that go on outside of football. It does provide a sense of perspective. Riley is a great hospital and a great organization that does great things for kids across the state. It is easy to come and try to help out."
During their visit, the team decked the halls singing Christmas carols with patients and their families including "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells." After each patient received a gift, they were eager to suggest their favorite carols to sing along with the team. Castonzo even shared one of his favorite pastime songs—a very energetic version of "Dominick the Donkey."
The team's heart and hope filled the halls and became unmatched by the patients' smiles and uplifted spirits. "Especially at this time of year, it's about joy and happiness. Whatever little joy we can bring to these kids' lives, we are having fun," said Kalen Irsay.
Caroling has become an annual tradition for the Colts, started by Owner and CEO Jim Irsay, and one that brings some added sunshine to patients and their families around the holiday season. It is part of a long-standing partnership the Colts have had with Riley at IU Health for more than a decade.
Over the years, the Colts organization and its players have supported the hospital through various programs, events and financial contributions, including a $1 million donation from Irsay in 2008. The team has embraced the annual "Miracle Ride" event and has made countless visits to patients at the hospital in addition to hosting special training camp visits for Riley families. The organization also created the Riley Coin Toss Kids program to give Riley patients the opportunity to participate in the coin toss at each Colts home game.