Stanley Cup stops by Evanston Hospital
Chicago Blackhawks Chairman and Winnetka resident Rocky Wirtz brought the Stanley Cup to NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Evanston Hospital Tuesday.
Wirtz’s wife, Marilyn also said hello to Kellogg Cancer Center patients during the early-morning meet-and-greet. Families served by the hospital’s Infant Special Care Unit were also on hand to connect with a piece of Chicago sports history.
“This is phenomenal; a day I’ll never forget,” said Kevin Tietz of Grayslake, who placed his 4-month-old son Calvin Philip Tietz in the bowl of the Stanley Cup.
“It’s been a long road for us and it’s (seeing the Stanley Cup) absolutely amazing,” said Tietz, who talked about his son’s medical challenges after Calvin’s mid-February birth. Calvin’s mother, Barbara Tietz, also was present with her son and husband.
Earlier, NorthShore University HealthSystem CEO Mark Neaman hosted a brief presentation with the Wirtz family, thanking them for bringing the Stanley Cup and suggesting the hospital community was “all a part of the Blackhawks family.”
“We’re particularly thrilled that Rocky and Marilyn have chosen to visit our Evanston Hospital campus,” Neaman said. “It’s an honor for us.”
For his part, Rocky Wirtz enjoys the opportunity to share in the spoils of the Chicago Blackhawks’ success on the ice.
“It’s nice to give back instead of taking,” Rocky Wirtz said.
“From babies to patients to little kids, they’ve just been intrigued by the cup,” Marilyn Wirtz said.
Barb Sears of Lindenhurst, who said she is being treated for ovarian cancer, opened her eyes wide at seeing the Stanley Cup close up.
“I’m a 10-year survivor,” Sears said. “So let’s see if I can go another 10 years.
Twins Peter and Collin Michalak of Chicago, 2, who were pictured shortly after their births with the Stanley Cup during the trophy’s 2013 visit to Evanston Hospital, returned with their parents for another photo opportunity.
Other patients and their family members marveled at seeing the Stanley Cup in person for the first time.
“It’s surreal; it’s unbelievable!” said patient Brent Johnson, formerly of Glenview, who said he is being treated for a stroke he experienced nearly two months ago.
Johnson compared the feel of the Stanly Cup to braille, tapping into an apt metaphor for the historic Stanley Cup that captured the attention of the chairman himself.
Rocky Wirtz, when told about Johnson’s braille description, seemed impressed with that observation and agreed the Stanley Cup’s markings offer layers of deep storytelling chronicling hockey history.
“It’s been nice to be able to share the cup locally,” Rocky Wirtz said.
Karie Angell Luc is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.
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