The Carolina Panthers annual rookie Halloween field trip continues.
Every year the Carolina Panthers rookies dress up in costume and make the two mile trip down Morehead Street from Bank of America Stadium to Levine Children’s Hospital for a special Halloween visit. The fifteenth consecutive year for the trip, 11 Panthers rookies traded their jersey and pads for a more incognito approach, all for a good cause.
An annual tradition, the short journey gives families and their children a momentary break from their health concerns and an opportunity to engage in the traditional festivities associated with the Halloween holiday. Not only does it have an impact on the patients and those with them in the hospital but often the rookies come away with a refreshed perspective as well.
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A few costumes were repeated from last year’s visit as Captain America (Marquis Haynes), Woody from Toy Story (Ian Thomas) and Batman (Reggie Bonnafon) all made another appearance but others were new for this trip, including vocal cornerback Donte Jackson who went as Olaf because like the Disney character that every kid loves, “every kid loves Donte”. The rookies spent time passing out candy, posing for pictures and bringing smiles to all of the kids they encountered.
The Panthers organization has undergone a considerable amount of change over the past year, especially with new owner David Tepper taking over for founder Jerry Richardson during the offseason. Despite the turnover, it is nice to see a commitment to the community and Levine Children’s Hospital remains a focal point for the franchise.
Each event purposefully reiterates the Panthers commitment to their community both from a franchise and individual player perspective.