Six members of Concordia University, St. Paul’s softball team recently visited young patients at the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Clinic in downtown St. Paul. The student-athletes played games with the children, shared laughs and helped spread Holiday cheer during their visit, which was facilitated by seniors Katie and Missie Feuerbach, both softball representatives for Concordia’s Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).
“We had an absolutely wonderful time with the kids and enjoyed the experience,” Katie said. “Our team has been looking for opportunities to give back to the community all year long, so this was perfect timing.”
Other SAAC members were originally scheduled to visit the clinic but were unable to make it, so at the last minute the Feuerbach twins were able to gather four other softball teammates (Kelly McKenzie, Jade Ptacek, Abby Foster and Jamie Fleischhacker) enthusiastic for the opportunity to spend quality time with the children. The visit turned out to be quite memorable for all, and especially for the Feuerbach’s, as they were able to interact with a set of twin four-year-old girls (one healthy and one a patient).
“Missie and I connected with these little girls and were sad that they couldn’t have the most ideal experience of growing up together,” Katie said. “Despite the obvious hard times the girls had been through, they still had a great deal of energy and enthusiasm and an inseparable bond that only twins can have.”
The softball team tries to give back to the community whenever possible and has previously volunteered time at Kids Against Hunger (a food packaging cause), while the entire squad joined other students on Concordia’s campus in October to help make 2,500 sandwiches for homeless people.
The team has plans for another visit to Kids Against Hunger this winter and plans to recognize a specific cancer research fund during a home weekend of games next spring similar to the “Think Pink” fundraiser done by Concordia’s basketball and volleyball teams.