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Iowa Football Team Starts New Tradition to Honor Children at Hospital

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Saturday marked the start of a new football season but for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, it is also the beginning of a new tradition that is much more meaningful and significant than chanting, jumping or letting balloons fly – Hawkeyes fans at Kinnick Stadium waved to the children being treated at the adjacent University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

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The new tradition is sparking much interest in social media as fans tweet and sharing photos of the beautiful gesture of fans coming together not only to encourage a single team but to cheer on the kids who can only watch the game through the windows of the hospital because they are sick.

“Hawkeye fans turn and wave to the Children’s Hospital at the end of the first quarter. New tradition this year. Iowa proud,” tweeted a fan together with a photo.

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According to a report by NBC Sports, the new Hawkeye tradition started because of a social media plea for fans at the football game to find some way to acknowledge the patients admitted to the Children’s Hospital.

This is not the first time Hawkeyes and their fans did something heartwarming for the hospital and all its patients. In the past, there was a “Touchdown for Kids” campaign wherein the fans are encouraged to donate whatever amount they can to the hospital for every touchdown the team makes throughout the season.

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The Hawkeyes team also has partnered with the hospital since 2009 on an initiative called “Kid Captain”, which is meant to honor pediatric patients while at the same time celebrate their heartwarming stories. The selected “Kid Captain” receives a commemorative jersey, special recognition from the team and the hospital, and the opportunity to experience a “behind-the-scenes” tour of Kinnick Stadium.

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