Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Keith Savage and forward Mike Ambersley visited the All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon to meet with the kids at the hospital.
All Children's Hospital is the only specialty licensed children’s hospital on Florida’s west coast. Founded in 1926, All Children’s has grown into a leading pediatric referral center that is dedicated to advancing treatment, education, research and advocacy in child health.
"It's a real honor to come to the all children's hospital," said Savage. "I am very thankful for the opportunity to bring joy to children and their families."
Rowdies forward Matt Clare, defender Daniel Scott, midfielder Dan O’Brien, and goalkeeper Andrew Fontein visited the hospital prior to the second leg of the NASL Soccer Bowl. While visiting, they spent time with the children talking about sports, soccer and the Rowdies 2012 season. To represent all the children from All Children’s Hospital who could not be in attendance for the second leg of the NASL Soccer Bowl finals, the Rowdies players asked each of the children they met with to sign jerseys and balls which would be placed on the bench supporting their hometown Rowdies. With the support of the kids at the All Children’s Hospital, the Rowdies overcame a 2-0 deficit in the first leg, and defeated Minnesota in the second leg, being crowned the 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl Champions.
"It means so much to us that we are able to make the kids smile and laugh," said Ambersley. "These kids are such an inspiration and it is a blessing that I get the opportunity to spend time with them."
On Tuesday, the children received the balls and the jerseys that they had signed, but they now included the signatures of the 2012 NASL Champion Rowdies. The kids also had the opportunity to see the NASL Soccer Bowl Trophy, as well as to talk to the players on their experience on the field and how it felt to bring the NASL Soccer Bowl back to Tampa.