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Mascots provide afternoon of smiles for patients at Florida Hospital for Children

Mascots representing teams from across the country brought smiles and laughs to patients at Florida Hospital for Children during a visit to kick off the 22nd Annual Mascot Games Presented by Wawa.

Captain Fear of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Shades of the Orlando Solar Bears, Orbit of the Houston Astros, Champ of the Dallas Mavericks, and Bango of the Milwaukee Bucks interacted with kids of all ages to provide a break from the hospital room. They were joined by Florida Hospital for Children’s own Harry and Mary.

“Not only did the mascots have a great time, but more importantly, the children, the families and the staff had a great time,” said Jeff Melinat, field operations manager for the Mascot Games.

The Mascot Games Presented by Wawa is a family-friendly annual event hosted at the Amway Center featuring characters from over two dozen teams in MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and NCAA. Mascots compete in wild and wacky games in front of more than 18,000 fans.

The visit to Florida Hospital for Children is one extension of the annual event’s mission, which is to raise money for New Hope for Kids, a charitable organization that provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one, and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida.

All proceeds of the Mascot Games Presented by Wawa benefit New Hope for Kids. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $300,000 for the organization.