Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Children, hospital have a healthy bond

Members of the Spring Hill Elementary fourth- and fifth-grade chorus sing to Spring Hill Regional Hospital staffers and patients last week. The hospital is a Partner in Education to the school.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Members of the Spring Hill Elementary fourth- and fifth-grade chorus sing to Spring Hill Regional Hospital staffers and patients last week. The hospital is a Partner in Education to the school.

SPRING HILL — Twenty-two Spring Hill Elementary School students trooped into Spring Hill Regional Hospital to brighten the day of patients and staffers.

The members of the after-school Panther Pride Chorus had come to sing carols and ring bells.

Their repertoire included old favorites O Come, All Ye Faithful, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Many of the singers accompanied themselves with specifically toned bells. Music teacher Melody Raddish and fifth-grade teacher Richard Inmon directed them.

Community service teacher Karen Charlton and Spring Hill principal Marvin Gordon were also at the hospital. The students visited, Gordon said, "to return the support Spring Hill Regional gives our school and to teach them the importance of giving back to the community."

Spring Hill Regional Hospital is a Partner in Education to the school. "They're so good to us, this hospital," Charlton said. The hospital did a teddy bear clinic at the school last year to help children become comfortable with medical workers, and loaned the school a big grill for use on Career Day.

The hospital departments collected food to distribute to Spring Hill Elementary families for Thanksgiving, and they have "adopted" families from the school to help for Christmas.

"We all went shopping," hospital associate administrator Scott Hartsell said. "It was wonderful."

Hartsell met the children, teachers and parent chaperons when they arrived. He took them through the hospital as they sang to staff members and patients, who ranged from elderly to a newborn. "These were her first Christmas carols ever," Hartsell said about the 1-day-old baby girl.

The children not only sang but gave patients more than 400 cards that they had made. "We worked on them for three weeks," Charlton said.

Hartsell noted that some of the visiting children were actually born at this hospital, "so they're alumni."

After singing, the children were treated to hot chocolate and cookies in the hospital lobby. There, some of them commented on why they thought they were there.

"To cheer people up," said fourth-grader Brieanna Miller, 9.

"Because it was fun," said fifth-grader Alexandra Kennedy, 10, "and people that are sick, they kind of get some joy in them and if they don't get to go home for Christmas, this will probably help them."

Fifth-grader Danielle Pacifico, 10, was enthusiastic about the visit. "This was the best field trip ever," she said, "because we got to sing for patients who were sick, because they're in the hospital and they might not see their family for Christmas."

Fifth-grader Brianna Neumann, 11, said her favorite part of the trip was "singing for the people that were sick, because they can't go home for Christmas. We came over to make them joyful. It was sad, too, 'cause a lot of them were really sick."

As they readied to return to school, the hospital staff offered them bears, visors or mesh bags as gifts. Music teacher Melody Raddish was touched by the gesture. "We came to give, and we receive," she said.

Before they left, parent Lynn Smith, whose daughter Jessica is a fourth-grade chorus member, commented on what she observed that morning as they moved through the hospital.

"The halls lit up with smiles," she said.

Children, hospital have a healthy bond 12/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.