It was more than a visit on Tuesday, when the 2016 Buccaneers Rookie Club surprised patients and their families at Moffitt Cancer Center. Smiles, laughter, and genuine conversation was exchanged between players and patients as the rookies took their time, stopping by rooms to brighten up each patient's morning.
"'I'm going through treatment again, and worrying about the next step," said patient Scott Wadley. "Them just coming in here changes your day. Even if it only lasts for two or three hours, it's great because you think about something else for a while."
The morning made an impact on the players too, according to Bucs rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. "It means so much to be out here showing our support, and for them just to know that there are people thinking about them. It gives you a different perspective in life and makes you thankful for what you have."
The rookies also got to participate in Play60 Drills with local middle school students who are a part of Moffitt's Healthy KIDZ program, a community outreach program for children and adolescents of all ages, focused on cancer prevention, healthy living, and positive life choices.
"Through the Healthy KIDZ program we like to teach children in the community about cancer prevention and early detection, so the partnership we have with the Bucs to help raise awareness is the perfect partnership." Said Lizette Robles, Community Relations Manager for Moffitt Cancer Center.
The Buccaneers Rookie club will continue to participate in a variety of outreach activities throughout the year that support active and retired military, inspire underprivileged youth, and promote healthy lifestyles for local children. It's all part of Bucs for a Better Bay, the Bucs far reaching commitment to improving Tampa Bay now and for years to come.
The rookies have already visited MacDill Air Force Base, hosted Play 60 Drills with the children of the Jackson Heights NFL Y.E.T. Center, and gone bowling with the Tampa Fire Rescue. While the Club encourages Rookies to branch out into the community to make a positive impact in the lives of others, the players will tell you, their time spent out in the community, like this visit to Moffitt Cancer Center, makes an even bigger impact on them!
"It's a team effort like anything we do," said Hargreaves. "Being here is great for the Bucs organization, it's great for the Cancer Center, and hopefully it makes an impact in the community."