Our Partnership with Michigan Athletics

Creating the Future of Health Care . . . Through Philanthropy

Since 1991, hundreds of U-M student-athletes have dedicated their Thursday evenings to visiting patients and families at our University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. This partnership can profoundly affect the young students as much as it delights our young patients. For many of the athletes, this experience marks the beginning of a commitment to Mott that continues well after they leave the university.

During their time as Wolverine students and football players, Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson were inspired by this tradition, and since then they have become transformational leaders in supporting advancements in children’s health. Brian and Steve founded Champions for Children’s Hearts in 2007 to raise money for the Mott Children’s Hospital and its Congenital Heart Center. Charles joined them in 2011, establishing the Charles Woodson Research Fund. Together, they have inspired former teammates, coaches, sponsors, fans and participants from across the country to support Mott.

Last month, more than 1,000 people who care about kids gathered in Ann Arbor to celebrate the seventh annual Griese/Hutchinson/Woodson Champions for Children’s Hearts events, including more than 100 former U-M student-athletes, NFL stars, celebrities and coaches. The annual three-day gathering features an 11-hour radio-a-thon, a gala dinner with a live auction, and a golf tournament, and has raised more than $6 million to improve care for our pediatric patients.

The event serves as a powerful example of a remarkable journey of philanthropy, fostered by the caring culture of our U-M student-athlete community that has been a Michigan tradition for decades. I am so grateful for the exemplary philanthropic leadership that Brian, Steve and Charles have shown for the community here at the University of Michigan. I’m also grateful for our ongoing partnership with Michigan Athletics and the support our Michigan Men and Women give to UMHS in countless ways.

Please enjoy this video, which beautifully captures the essence of this inspiring relationship between our Health System and Michigan Athletics:

This post is also available in: Spanish

4 thoughts on “Our Partnership with Michigan Athletics

  1. Mary Masson on said:

    One of the most moving things I’ve experienced at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was seeing dozens of athletes show up one evening to visit kids at Mott. These are students with heavy loads of classwork along with big time commitments for practice. They are so sweet with the kids, and leave everyone smiling! It’s a tradition to be proud of!

  2. Carey Chesney on said:

    Wonderful video. It’s so great to see these student athletes give their time and what an enriching experience it is for them to see these little victors. These types of out of the class room and off the field experiences are what make this university truly distinct and exceptional.

  3. Laura-Jean Siggens on said:

    This tradition of thiers was started because of thier dedication and participation with a program founded by Ed and Leann Boullion called “From the Heart”. Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson were inspired by this tradition and have continued with their dedicaiton and participation. thanks guys. you continue to be great and you do so much for our patients and families. OUr patients and families are so lucky to have these wonderful opportunities and programs.

    Laura-Jean Siggens

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