Pau Gasol, Tony Snell and Aaron Brooks were joined by members of the Bulls Entertainment Network, Bulls Radio’s Chuck Swirsky and team ambassador Sidney Green as nearly 75 families celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a special dinner, games, photo booth and face painter, among other green-themed activities at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s.
Pau set up shop in the arts and crafts room and spoke about the value in spending time with those on hand.
“The kids are all so amazing and they have so much energy,” said Gasol. “All they want to do is play and they appreciate when you play with them. So you sit down and interact, let them know you care. It’s great to be with the kids and their families as they go through a difficult time and face adversity in their life. To be able to bring them joy, to have a good time and see them smile is special for us and special for them.”
For years, Pau has passionately spent a significant amount of his off the court time in children’s hospitals, making regular visits to cheer up patients.
“It touches me. It gets to me and it’s extremely powerful and impactful,” explained Gasol. “The interactions that I’ve experienced though my life with kids and families who are going through difficult times make you realize how important the work that is being done at all of the hospitals.
“Sometimes it goes unnoticed or underappreciated,” Gasol added. “You may not understand that until it’s your child who goes through a situation like this. I think it’s important to raise awareness for the job that is being done and the support that some of these hospitals need. That’s why I do it. It touches me, it’s extremely rewarding for me, and the impact that I can have on these children and their families is huge. I feel blessed by the opportunity that I have.”