Bayfront patients serenaded with Rays songs

6:53 PM, Oct 10, 2008   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - What's the best way to make Rays fan feel better when they're in the hospital?

Sing baseball songs to them!

Volunteers at Bayfront Hospital in St. Pete are offering their diagnosis, and it seems to be working. The group of six make their "music rounds" every Friday morning from 10:00 until noon.

Laugher and music seems to be the best medicine.

Patient Larry Ryals is recovering from hip replacement and can't make it to the game, but the singing brought a smile to his face, "I thought it was great. I thought it was something they should do all the time. It cheers you up, it makes you feel good."

The volunteers were decked out in their Rays gear which included hat and pom-poms. They go from room to room visiting patients and spreading cheer.

Nurses always smile when they see the group coming. Some even cry. Some patients sing along.

Organizer Ellie Speed majored in music.  She leads the group and has one of the members add in his own words. In fact, the ever-popular, "Take me out to the Ballgame" is now adapted to "Take me out to the Rays game"

Speed says, "People just love the local flavor. They feel connected. They feel connected to the community which they are isolated from in the hospital."

More volunteers are needed as the group wants to expand and help more patients on other days, rather than just Fridays.

For more information on how to volunteer and connect with patients, click here.

You can also call the volunteer coordinator at 727-893-6114.

Melanie Brooks, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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