By Amy Samin
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv paid their traditional Chanukah visit to Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikvah.
All of the players, accompanied by the professional staff, went room by room in the various departments to visit and bring cheer to the young patients, along with notebooks, pens, key chains and wall clocks from the club’s official team store.
They also handed out snacks provided by one of the team’s sponsors, Bagel Bagel.
Another of the sponsors, Philips, donated a 32” LCD television to the hospital.
Head coach David Blatt said during the visit, “We feel like we’re on a sort of mission.
Every day we’re focused primarily on basketball, and during Chanukah and our visits to places like this, the most important thing is to bring happiness to the children and, for a little while, to get out of our daily routine of hard work on the basketball court.
I’m glad we came here today; it’s been fun to see my players enjoying themselves, giving of themselves and focusing their attention on the children.
I hope we’ve made everyone happy.”
Guy Pnini added, “It’s heartwarming, and really puts things into proportion; if we’re upset after losing a game, for example, it puts things into perspective, because here it’s real life.
I just hope that we were able to cheer them up and make them happy for a while, since they can’t celebrate Chanukah outside of the hospital.
If we did that then we reached our goal, and we’re happy to come here every year; we should even visit more.”
Jeremy Pargo concluded, “It’s a mixed feeling.
On the one hand, it’s hard to see how tough things are for these kids and where they’re spending their holiday, and on the other hand we cheered them up a little and that’s the most important thing.
I’m not sure everybody knew who we all were, because there were some really little kids in there, but we feel like we came here for an important purpose and we accomplished it.
It’s a good feeling to give of ourselves.”