Dave Moore, one of five Bucs to participate in the 'Big Hearts for Little Hearts Carnival,' helps one of the partygoers play a game
Thirteen year-old Amber had one wish for Valentine's Day. Her heart's desire was to have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come celebrate Valentine's Day with her and her friends at All Children's Hospital.
On Wednesday - Valentine's Day, of course – Buccaneer players David Gibson, Dave Moore, Damien Vaughn, Ron Warner and Jerry Wunsch made Amber's wish come true.
The players' visit coincided with All Children's 'Big Hearts for Little Hearts Valentine Carnival,' a wonderful event that treats the children to a carefree and fun-filled day.
The carnival offered approximately 35 kids a day's worth of exciting activities, such as caricature drawing, face painting, popcorn eating, karaoke, picture taking and, best of all, games and more games with the visiting Buccaneers.
Prior to entering the carnival, every child received a nametag, game tickets, a bag to keep all of their prizes in and a box of chocolates.
Amber, wearing her favorite pink pajamas and Scooby Doo slippers, was excited to meet all of the players.
"It was great to meet all of the players," she said. "I really liked getting their autographs and having my pictures taken with them."
The carnival wasn't reserved for only younger children, as big kids got involved as well, helping the kids toss footballs through two heart shaped holes in a football field cut-out and attaching prizes to the fishing poles in the Fishing Game.
The biggest kids at the carnival were the ones wearing Buccaneer polo shirts.
"Things like this help me as much as they help (the kids)," said Moore. "The atmosphere here and being able to play games with the kids just makes everybody's day."
As the carnival progressed, the games became more animated, the cake and punch began to disappear and the karaoke machine became a big hit, with several children belting out classic tunes. Heavy in the rotation were 'The ABC Song' and 'Old McDonald.'
Smiles were all around, prompting Ann Miller, All Children's Media Relations Manager, to say: "We love the Buccaneers. Events like this make the kids' day. Our kids really look up to them and it's just great that they come out here and do things like this for us."
Amber's mom, Debbie, agreed with Miller.
"She has been looking forward to this all day," said Debbie. "I think it's great that the players take the time to visit the kids. It really means a lot."
At the end of the day, the visiting Bucs made one more stop to conclude their Valentine's Day adventure. The players visited a young boy, John, who is recovering from a serious head injury and wished him a speedy and healthy recovery.
John enjoyed the visit immensely and even had a football that all of the players signed before posing for a group shot.
All in all, it was a heart-warming Valentine's Day for all of those involved - the Big Hearts and the Little Hearts.