MILWAUKEE -- It can be hard to feel the happiness and excitement of the holiday season when a child is in the hospital. But at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, ahead of Christmas, there was an effort to bring joy to those who need it most.
With festive music, setting the perfect tone, treats decorated and ready to be enjoyed, and princesses lighting up the room, the annual "Winter Carnival" was underway at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
"We are here because Santa is going to be here!" Mickey Wilson, mother of a child at CHW said.
Despite leaving his usual elves at the North Pole, Santa had some other helpers on this day -- Milwaukee Bucks players.
While Donner and Blitzen, Prancer and Vixen and even Rudolph couldn't make it, a moose wasn't going to miss it! That is, Greg Monroe, whose nickname is Moose, and all of the deer that make up the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We were in the MACC Fund's main floor, just visiting with some kids fighting different diseases -- just spending some time with them, talking to them, getting to know them," Monroe said.
They delivered presents, including small stuffed Bango dolls.
These elves brought something far more important to Tate Osgood's 10-year-old son Zander.
"It's a huge boost of morale for him. It really pepped him up when the players came in upstairs, and as soon as we heard they were down here and everything going on, he was really excited to come down and see what was happening," Osgood said.
"To see how happy they are, not complaining with all the stuff that they have to go through every day -- it definitely is eye-opening," Monroe said.
"The fact that they're smiling and forgetting, you know, about their real lives -- it just says a lot, you know?" Michael Beasley said.
Beasley and Monroe were just as excited as the kids.
"After visiting last year, I was excited to be back and it's just a great atmosphere," Monroe said.
"You can't do anything but be happy, to see the kids excited, to spend some time with them, to see even though they are fighting and going through the struggles that they are going through to just spend a little time with them and to know that for that moment at least, they are happy and feeling a little better. It means the world," Beasley said.
The larger-than-life helpers gave the gift of holiday cheer to children who spend most of their time fighting to get healthy.
"We are rooting for them more than what they know," Beasley said.
"Our problems are on the court and this is such a humbling experience. Our problems are minuscule compared to what these people are going through. They're strong, man. They're stronger than we could ever be -- so we are rooting for them every step of the way," Monroe said.
It allowed these children, who are going through so much, the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season with their families.
"I just really want to thank the Bucks and Children's Hospital for doing this. It's really great. It does really help a lot," Osgood said.