Jayhawks spread holiday cheer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital

LAWRENCE, Kan. – One of its favorite events of the season, Kansas women’s basketball spent time with Lawrence Memorial Hospital patients, spreading holiday cheer and making spirits bright, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, as a part of the Crimson and Blue Holiday project.
Although it’s a busy week for the Jayhawks with endless hours of studying for finals and their last few nonconference games, KU looks forward to the opportunity to spend time with those in the local community.

Wednesday’s visit to LMH marked the 24th-consecutive year that Kansas Athletics has visited patients before the holidays delivering gifts as a part of the Crimson and Blue Holiday Project, which is organized through Kansas’ trademark licensing office.

“We are really excited to be here and always grateful for the opportunity from LMH, its staff and patients, allowing us to get out and spread some holiday cheer,” said assistant coach Katie O’Connor. “The ability to walk into a room and brighten someone’s day. Obviously, it’s not a great time of year to be in the hospital, so it’s great for us to be able to walk around and see the players really smile with the patients and bring some extra cheer.”

The first, and favorite stop, is the delivery floor where the Jayhawks get to hold newborn babies, and more importantly teach them to wear Crimson and Blue. Following the trip to welcoming baby Jays into the world, KU women’s basketball split up into groups of four and made their way through the floors, visiting with patients of all ages and handing out Kansas merchandise, bringing smiles to those in the hospital during the holiday season.

“We are so fortunate and I don’t think we realize it,” said senior forward Sydney Umeri. “To give back to people that may be less fortunate or support our program means so much to us and we are always willing to do it.”

Over 80 of Kansas’ licensed vendors participated by donating all kinds of merchandise including t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, pennants and team posters. The KU merchandise will be distributed and utilized throughout the year to several different local charitable organizations.

Kansas’ trademark licensing program collects fees and royalties from manufacturers authorized to use KU’s trademark commercially. Royalties distributed from the program are used to fund student and student-athlete scholarships at KU.
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