EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — “Gratitude, gratitude.” That’s how one El Paso parent expressed her feelings behind a very special visit by a Greeeeeat! ambassador for the El Paso community Friday.
Tony the Tiger might be one of El Paso’s newest favorite sons and his personality is helping cheer up children from across the Borderland. It hasn’t been long since Tony the Tiger brought joy during the Sun Bowl and Friday he bought that same light and love to children at area hospitals for Valentine’s Day.
Pediatric patients at El Paso Children’s Hospital, Hospitals of Providence Children’s Hospital, and Las Palmas Hospital were given Valentine’s gifts on Friday.
“I have never met anything like that and I think it’s pretty cool that he brought me a Valentine’s,” said Paul Cornett.
The Sun Bowl Association says the tiger is about more than a football game, he’s here to share hugs and take photos with children and their families as part of his overall new mission.
“Sometimes we are here four to six hours at a time, so he gets really bored and you know to bring in Tony the Tiger is a big deal for him,” parent Marc Gerzymisch told KTSM.
Parents say Tony the Tiger brings courage and strength to their children during a difficult time.
“I think it gives him hope and it gives him courage and it makes him stronger, and we can all be stronger and better, and so Tony the Tiger did that for my son,” said Jill Overley, whose son is a hospital patient.
Tony plans on making more appearances throughout the year to brighten the lives of more children and their families.