Players Raise Spirits At Kids' Holiday Party


Guard/tackle Tony Moll and linebacker Danny Lansanah sing Christmas carols with children at the seventh annual 'Families of Children with Cancer Holiday Party'

Professional football players may be notorious for their resolve and strength, but when compared to the kids they spent time with Wednesday night, it's no contest.

Nearly 200 children, accompanied by their families and loved ones, attended the seventh annual "Families of Children with Cancer Holiday Party" at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in De Pere. Packers players mingled with the children and their families, played a variety of games with the kids, and participated in a spirited sing-along of carols.

The night of fun and games with their favorite Packers gave the children an escape from their health issues, and the players realized that.

"It really is inspiring and motivating to see these young kids fight the things they have going on internally," kicker Mason Crosby said. "The fact that they're struggling inside is a sad thing and makes me happy that we can come and get some laughs, enjoy some time and kick off the holiday season the right way."

Running back Ryan Grant, one of several players who also attended last year's party, echoed those sentiments.

"Every day you can learn from kids," Grant said. "They teach you how to be appreciative of what's important in life. With all the things that are going on in their lives, they're still able to genuinely smile and be happy."

An appreciation of the community has been a priority for the Packers organization for many years, which incoming players quickly realize and embrace. For rookie wide receiver Jordy Nelson, that's been one of many blessings in coming to Green Bay.

"It's one thing I've been real impressed with," Nelson said. "It's great to have the opportunity to do that, and there's plenty of opportunities for us. You see guys from the practice squad all the way up to starters that are willing to get out, have fun and give back."

Players and children even put their vocals to the test, singing en masse on stage. While the group wasn't always singing in the same key, they were all having fun for the right reasons.

"For me, it's such a humbling thing to see these young people be so strong," Crosby said. "Being able to come here and see the smiles on their faces is worth it all."

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