The University of Tennessee Volunteers took on the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Saturday inside historic Neyland Stadium.
While the Vols cruised to a lopsided victory over the Golden Eagles, a beautiful scene occurred before the game even started. The East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is just a stone’s throw from the University of Tennessee.
Several patients at the children’s hospital were able to make it out and attend Saturday’s big game. With the Knoxville Police Department acting as escorts, the children’s hospital patient arrived at Neyland Stadium in style.
While it may seem a simple gesture to most of us — it will be a lasting memory to these kids. Decked out in their best orange, the children hospital’s patients made their way into the stadium and found their seats. They spent the majority of the afternoon rooting for the Big Orange to bring home a win. They got their wish as the Vols beat the Golden Eagle handily by a final score of 56-0.
In a social media post from Saturday, the Knoxville Police Department says it was an honor to perform the task. The Facebook post says children from the hospital provide officers with a wealth of inspiration.
“What an honor it was to help escort East Tennessee Children’s Hospital these courageous children and their families to Neyland Stadium for today’s Tennessee Vols game,” the KPD post says. “Our officers are inspired by their strength and bravery in the face of tremendous adversity.”
As you can see from the photos Knoxville Police Department officer made sure the patients has a clear path to travel to the stadium. Many from the hospital are bound to wheelchairs and need special care when traveling.
Tennessee Vols Football Welcomes Patients From Children’s Hospital
The University of Tennessee also helped the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital financially. The proceeds from certain parking areas around the campus were donated directly to the children’s hospital. As the University’s stadium can hold more than 102,000 people, parking spots come at a premium.
Before the game began, a few of the children from the hospital got to mingle with some of the Tennessee Football players and cheerleaders. The players were happy to sign a few autographs for the kids in an effort to give them a memorable experience.
“Pregame with some friends!” the tweet from Tennessee Football says. The post includes two pics of the young children collecting autographs and interacting with the team’s cheer squad.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is a private, independent, not-for-profit, 152-bed pediatric medical center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The hospital services 16 counties inside the state of Tennessee and also has secondary services in Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.