WEST RIDGE — The residents of Misericordia got the surprise of a lifetime this week: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and the Stanley Cup visited.
Misericordia, which cares for children and adults with development disabilities, told residents that there would be a Blackhawks rally with the mascot. They weren't expecting to see the Blackhawks captain Monday, and there was a "resounding cheer" when he walked in to the facility at 6300 N. Ridge Ave., spokespeople said.
"They were all fired up, and then in walks Jonathan Toews along with the cup, the coveted cup," said spokeswoman Lois Gates. "Our residents were over-the-moon happy and excited to see him."
Toews talked to the residents about being the best they can be and gave a Blackhawks jersey to Sister Rosemary Connelly, the director of Misericordia. After that, he toured the facility so he could visit with fans who couldn't make it to the rally.
Misericordia residents saw the Stanley Cup and met with Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews during a surprise visit. [Facebook/Misericordia]
"He's a superhero to our residents on and off the ice," Gates said. "He was so compassionate and so caring to all of our residents, but especially those that were most vulnerable, that have special needs. And he wasn't playing for the camera — he was sincerely interacting with them."
Toews — who has visited Misericordia three times — treated the residents like they were his best friends, said spokesman Kevin Connelly.
Many of the residents are "huge fans" of the Blackhawks, watching their games and going to the United Center when Misericordia has tickets for them. One resident, Paul, even painted a portrait of Toews. He gave it to the Blackhawks captain during the event.
"You could tell Jonathan was very, very touched and thanked Paul profusely," Gates said. "He was very moved by the kindness of the gift and the work that went into it."
Toews ended up staying an hour longer than he'd originally planned, but was that OK with Misericordia.
"It's not every day that you have the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks walk through the door," Connelly said.
Misericordia's photos from the visit:
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