Notre Dame Football visits Beacon Children’s Hospital ahead of Saturday’s game

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame Football program is one steeped in tradition.

Some of those traditions are well known. Others, we’re just learning about.

It’s well known that when Marcus Freeman took over as head coach, he brought back the gameday mass.

Just today it was revealed that Freeman also established a new tradition for football weekend Fridays.

It started on September 9th and concluded today.

All season long—Marcus Freeman and a player or two have delivered lunches to patients and family members at the Hematology Oncology Wing at Beacon Children’s Hospital.

“You know it’s a great reminder of, you know, how precious life is and the impact, you know, that we’ve been blessed to be in this position, and the impact you can make on others to me is so important,” Coach Freeman told 16 News Now.

“When the kids see coach Freeman and these players walk in, they light up,” added Aaron Charles with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana. “And when you’re going through an ordeal like having a child in the hospital, when you can bring joy and comfort in just that small of a way it makes a big difference.”

Friday, Freeman and Notre Dame Linebacker Jack Kiser served up pizza, salad, and apples, knowing full well they could get a heaping helping of humility in return.

“Last time we were over there we did have a guy, a teenager, that was all decked out in Alabama gear and so he was not, didn’t, didn’t necessarily want to have them coming in his room,” recalled Aaron Charles.

“We don’t hold it against them,” Coach Freeman said, “You know, we always ask if they’re okay if we come into the room.”

While the Ronald McDonald House has had relationships with Notre Dame coaches in the past, they haven’t included such frequent visits.

“It just shows you that there’s a lot of, you know, really tough people out there going through a really rough situation,” Jack Kiser said. “Makes you very grateful for, you know, what you have.”