There was a circus of costumes at the New England Patriots Foundation's annual Halloween party, with penguins, princesses, and more joining Patriots players and cheerleaders for a carnival-themed celebration on Tuesday.
The children had a chance to dress up as anything they wanted to be for a day, and best of all, there was no mention of pediatric cancer.
"You can just see a sense of relief on some of the parents' faces," said Patriots captain Matthew Slater, in a full clown costume. "Halloween is about fun, candy, and just being with friends. Certainly, this is an opportunity for them to do that."
More than 30 children battling cancer from Boston Children's Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Hasbro Children's Hospital and Mass General Hospital were invited to the event with their families.
They decorated pumpkins and cookies, played carnival games, and did other Halloween-themed activities as a balloon artist made them magic wands, swords, and even footballs to run around with.
Players, who completely bought into the theme, had just as much fun.
In addition to Slater's clown costume, rookie Cole Strange was dressed up as the circus ringmaster, Brendan Schooler as Evil Knievel, and Kody Russey as the World's Strongest Man.
Jonathan Jones (lion), Marcus Cannon (tiger), and Scotty Washington (giraffe) rounded out the exotic animals, and Nelson Agholor didn't break character once as a mime.
"I have not heard him speak," Slater confirmed, referring to Agholor. "He's doing a good job. It's so great that the guys came out here to support."
Jones enjoyed a balloon-sword fencing match with a small firefighter, two little girls dressed as cheerleaders showed off their stunts in front of the actual team cheerleaders, and Superman (Pat Patriot) made sure to give everyone a high five.
"I've always loved this event," Slater said. "Just to be able to come out with the kids, they're obviously going through some challenges, them and their families. It just allows them to be kids. To see the childlike joy that's here in this room, it's really more of a blessing to me than it is to them."
Check out photos from the event in the gallery below.
To conclude the Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer initiative, the Patriots hosted pediatric cancer patients and their families at the stadium for a Halloween party on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. The theme of this year's party was carnival.