By Amy Samin
Despite an especially busy game schedule, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv knows that some things are more important. On Sunday morning, players and coaches took the time to visit the pediatric wards at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba and Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center in Tel Aviv, where they handed out food baskets provided by Skittles and gifts from the Maccabi team store. Most of all, they brought smiles to the children’s faces.
Club chairman Shimon Mizrahi: “Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center and the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Basketball Club have had a very strong bond for many years. Our visits to Reuth Medical Center and to other hospitals are an integral part of the club’s activities. I must point out that Dr. Albukrek, the Director of Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center, is the second doctor to come from the ranks of the club, something that illustrates the close relationship between the medical profession and the sports profession.”
Doron Jamchy, Community Relations Manager: “The Medical & Rehabilitation Center has been a partner with the team for years. Maccabi gives a lot back to the community in many ways: to children and soldiers, to youth and adults. The very act of spending time with people who need support, or a smile, is sometimes stronger than the actual medical process.”
Devin Smith: “You never know how much a short visit like this can bring a smile to the face of someone who is fighting to be healthy. I’m sure our visit cheered up some of the rehabilitation patients here at the hospital, and helped motivate them to get better.”
Brian Randle: “It’s very important for us as professional athletes to know how to give to the community. The decision in the club to skip morning practice in order to come and tour the hospital was the right decision, especially for us as professional athletes. Knowing how to accept love from the public requires us at the same time to give back to the community.”
Dr. Dov Albukrek, Director of Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center: “As a former Maccabi Tel Aviv player, I greatly cherish the devotion of the Basketball Club to bringing smiles to the faces of our patients. Breaking the hospital routine with the hugs and the love the players brought with them this morning gives mental support to the patients who are battling hour by hour, day by day, to get back onto their feet.”