This week, the Parramatta Eels (Tuesday 13 December) shared a Christmas dinner with the families at the Ronald McDonald House, Westmead ahead of the festive season.
For Blue and Gold forward and Ronald McDonald House, Westmead ambassador Tim Mannah, the visit was one he always looks forward to.
“It is always a great chance to get here and celebrate Christmas with these guys,” Mannah said.
“There is a great connection between our Club and this place, and it is always a special day when we get to be here and spend time with these kids.”
“RMH houses families that have to travel long distances to have treatment for their kids and they do such a great job to create an environment where families can be close to their children and keeping them together through tough times.”
Mannah said that the Blue and Gold often gained more from the day, than the patients themselves.
“We love to help out the community as much as we can, but for me personally and our team, we really enjoy coming to RMH. It is one of those days where you get to hang out with the kids, have a fun time and forget about footy.”
“Regardless of what time of year it is, they are always buzzing, always happy and excited to be playing. That is always uplifting and every time we come here we end up getting more out of this than they do.”
Fellow Blue and Gold Forward David Gower echoed Mannah’s statements.
“Especailly having young children of my own, I can fully understand where the parents are coming from and the hardship they are going through.”
“For us to come here, we had a great BBQ cooked by our staff, and all the boys are engaging with the kids, playing cricket, running around the equipment, playing a bit of basketball and it is fantastic to see the smiles on these kids faces.”
Gower said the visit to the Ronald McDonald House, Westmead put things into perspective for the playing squad.
“It’s all about perspective sometimes for us. We think we are doing it tough but the fact of the matter is we are not,” Gower said.
“The smiles on the kids faces is priceless and something that money can’t buy. Especially around the holiday season, to give an hour and a half of our day, to play with the kids and let them forget their troubles is really rewarding.”
“We have the greatest supporters in the club. I have said it many times and I truly believe in that. There are families from far and wide, some that are out of state, to see the Blue and Gold reach that far is phenomenal.” Gower added.
“For us to come here and see the families, sign their jerseys and do some small things and give them a bit of happiness is fantastic.”