Stars gather for annual ‘Champions for Children’ gala

BOSTON (WHDH) - Sports stars teamed up with Boston Children’s hospital at the annual Champions for Children Gala Tuesday night.

Patriots and Celtics players joined Andover native Jay Leno at the gala in Boston’s Seaport District. Leno, who hosted the event, was a big hit with children as he told jokes and asked them what they wanted for Christmas.

“It’s very exciting. This is my hometown and it’s Boston and it’s kids and I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been affected by Boston Children’s Hospital. Either someone in your family or somebody else’s family, a kid down the street,” said Leno.

The annual fundraiser raised more than $42 million for the patients and families at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Happy that I’m able to put a smile on someone’s face. And know that I can’t play football forever.  So while I can do it…do as much as I can for the community,” said Patriots player Rob Ninkovich.

Nate Solder, an offensive lineman for the Pats, has been touched personally by Boston Children’s Hospital. Solder’s 1-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer late last year.

“They came to us in a time of great need…to have a place like Boston Children’s is truly phenomenal,” said Solder.

Rob Gronkowski was the recipient of the 2016 Champion Award but was unable to attend due to injury. Teammate Martellus Bennett accepted the award on his behalf.

 

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