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Colts Spread Holiday Cheer by Caroling at Riley Hospital

Intro: In the final “Community Tuesday” of the 2013 season, the Colts visited Riley Hospital for their annual trip of caroling and distributing gifts to patients.


INDIANAPOLIS – Some holiday cheer was brought to Riley Hospital on Tuesday morning thanks to the "singing" voices of a few Colts players and cheerleaders.

An event started by Owner Jim Irsay, the annual tradition of caroling through the hallways of Riley Hospital while handing out gifts to patients was continued by the Colts.

"This means so much to the patients, especially on this unit," Doctor Paul Haut, Chief Medical Officer at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health said.

"These are children that have cancer or life threatening blood diseases. They maybe in the hospital for weeks or months at a time so to have something like this, that brings a little bit of normal, changes their lives."

The normal came in the form of Colts players caroling inside of different patient rooms before distributing various gifts including a signed poster to each room.

As is usually the case at this "Community Tuesday" event, left tackle Anthony Castonzo was the ring leader of the Colts mini choir.

"He's our baritone and our soloist, and sort of the head of everything," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said of Castonzo.

"He drives the ship and we just follow him."[


Castonzo and Luck were a part of seven Colts teammates that helped bring smiles to many Riley patients thanks to their vocals.

With a guitarist from IUPUI, the Colts added some instruments to their performance this year as many of the patients chose their favorite holiday tune to have sung.

Colts long snapper Matt Overton is a frequent visitor to Riley Hospital and said Tuesday's community event is one that many teammates look forward to each year.

"Unfortunately the kids are here during the holiday season. They face difficult circumstances every day and this is a chance for us to come and brighten their spirits a little bit and hopefully bring a smile to their face," Overton said.

The partnership between the Colts and Riley Hospital extends over a decade with Irsay donating $1 million back in 2008.

"We are so fortunate that many of these guys are up here all the time," Dr. Haut said. "It's not just for an event like this. We have guys who are up here giving of their time and it's not for them. It's for the kids and that's what really is important."

As the players and cheerleaders wrapped up their "concert" on Tuesday morning they made one final stop before exiting Riley Hospital.

A rendition of "Frosty the Snowman" was sung in the Simon Tower lobby with patients from all over the hospital gathering to see their favorite Colts.

Luck was a popular choice for pictures after and even though the quarterback is still early in calling Indianapolis home, he knows the significance of a place such as Riley.

"I've been here over a year now and you really realize how important Riley is to not just the city but the state and all the great things they do," No. 12 said.

"For us to get to come and help out is an honor for us."

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