Skip to main content

Vikings celebrate Thanksgiving with sick kids at U of M Children's

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Can you brag about having spent Thanksgiving with a bunch of NFL stars?

Probably not – but the kids at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital sure can.

A number of Vikings players, alumni and even "Viktor" the mascot showed up to the hospital on Tuesday to celebrate Thanksgiving with the facility's young patients, according to a news release.

The visit, which is one of many annual appearances the Vikes make at the hospital throughout the year, was aimed at bringing "warm thoughts and comfort" to sick children, the team says.

Meeting the patients and celebrating the holiday with them was an eye-opening experience for center John Sullivan, who's been sidelined for the entire season due to a couple of back surgeries. He says his setbacks seem "much less significant when visiting" kids battling severe illnesses.

“Even though it’s unfortunate and I wish I could be out there helping my teammates, when you come here and see kids going through so much, not just the patients but their families, the people tasked with taking care of them, it really puts the whole thing in perspective,” Sullivan said.

While there, Sullivan and his teammates saw some familiar faces, including parents and patients who have been in the hospital during other Vikings visits, and, the release says, one child who "still had a hat autographed by Sullivan" from a visit five years ago.

But autographs are the least of the team's concerns, with Sullivan saying "we just want to come and brighten their day, maybe distract them a little bit and give them a little sense of normalcy with a Thanksgiving meal and just do whatever we can.”

Players Kyle Rudolph, Brandon Fusco, Nick Easton, Zac Kerin, Austin Shepherd, David Yankey and a couple of former Vikings were in attendance, according to the release.

One high point in the already special day: Sullivan sang a duet of "Let it Go" from Disney's "Frozen" to a little girl in her hospital room, the release says.

For more photos from the visit, click here. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 7.23.52 AM

Thursday performances of Runestone! canceled due to COVID cases

This weekend's performances are still going ahead, History Theatre says.

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 7.12.27 PM

Storms cause grain bin to fall on car, killing one in central MN

The National Weather Service confirmed the death on Thursday evening.


Ferocious winds, possible tornadoes leave destruction in MN

Numerous reports of tornadoes and nearly 100 mph straight-line winds.


Canoe carrying 4 overturns near St. John's University

Of the four, only one was wearing a lifejacket when the boat capsized Wednesday.

pexels beer bar craft brewery

MN's craft alcohol makers back new push to loosen state's liquor laws

The pushback includes loosening restrictions on growler sales for bigger craft breweries and a more direct line of spirit sales to customers.

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 8.02.19 PM

Severe thunderstorm warnings in the Twin Cities

It's the second night in a row that severe storms are hitting the metro.


Twin Cities placed in tornado watch ahead of intense line of storms

Photo above is a view from Marshall as the line of storms moved through Thursday evening.

fire pixabay stock

1 dead, 1 escapes western Wisconsin house fire

The single-story home was fully engulfed in flames when first responders arrived early Wednesday morning.

Wind storms tree

Rare 'particularly dangerous situation' weather watch issued in SW MN

The warning covers an area of Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

fire, firefighter

Dad and 2 children killed in western Wisconsin house fire

A devastating house fire happened early Thursday morning.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

2 suspects involved in Brooklyn Park armed carjacking

The incident happened Wednesday night near a shopping center and Cub.


Vikings reach deal with U of M to add seats to TCF Bank Stadium

A deal between the Vikings and the University of Minnesota would add about 3,000 seats to the Gophers' football stadium. The Vikings say that would at least allow them to fit their season ticket holders in the building if they wind up playing there while a new stadium is under construction.

Vikings: Harvin limping, Peterson sick as both miss practice

No crutches for Percy Harvin today, but he’s reportedly still limping with that bad sprained ankle. Running back Adrian Peterson is also not practicing today due to illness.