INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Colts players and cheerleaders traded their jerseys and pom poms for costumes and tiaras to spread love at Riley Hospital for Children on Valentine’s Day.
“Valentine’s Day is all about love and I think that comes in many forms, so to be able to be here to be able to love on some kids who are going through some tough things and just bring some joy into their lives is very rewarding to be able to do,” Colts safety Matthias Farley said. “It also puts things in perspective how blessed I am to have my health and to have had it when I was young.”
All of the nearly dozen Colts representatives embracing their roles as characters from “Frozen” and Disney princesses to bring smiles to patients and their families.
Farley even went to the game tape to prepare for his role as “Olaf,” the lovable snowman who captured hearts in Disney’s “Frozen” movie.
"I watched frozen this morning and a lot of Olaf videos on YouTube, so I feel like I got the mannerisms down.”
“We're all just living in Olaf's world today,” Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien said with a laugh while dressed convincingly as “Prince Charming.”
“Any way that we can just take these families minds off what they may be going through just for a moment and make them smile, that's a win in our book,” Colts cheerleader Mariah H. said, playing the role of “Snow White.”
While their newborn is being treated in Riley’s NICU, the Zene family brought their older daughter Rayhana to the hospital’s Child Life Center to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the princesses.
When asked which character was her favorite, Rayhana responded, “Cinderella, because she gave me a card,” proudly displaying the autographed valentine that Colts cheerleader Alexis R. personalized.
"You see the kids around, they're really happy and the smiles on their faces are priceless,” Moussa Zene, Rayhana’s father said.
The afternoon spent sharing smiles and spreading love creating lasting memories for the kids and the players, alike.
"It's very rewarding to see the kids, their faces just brighten up even just for a moment, just a diversion for them that goes a long way and I think it's two-fold,” Tolzien said. “We walk out and you have a new appreciation for the attitudes that the kids have. We learn more from the kids than the kids learn from us."