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Celebrating the holidays

Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Pashos and several of his teammates used their "off day" on Monday to spread some holiday cheer to several children in the area. Pashos joined 10 of his teammates for a special visit to Wolfson Children's Hospital to hand out gifts for the more than 75 children that won't be spending the holidays at home.

Following the hospital visit, Pashos hosted 12 children from Guardian Ad Litem in Jacksonville at Applebee's in St. John's Town Center for dinner, and then he took the group on a shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods. The event was one of the monthly outings Pashos hosts with the Pashos Pals group he started in 2007.

"I really enjoy getting out in the community throughout the year, but it's really important during the holidays," Pashos said. "It was a great day to put a smile on some faces and show them support."

The hospital visit was part of Operation Teddy Bear, which allows local residents to donate money to purchase a Teddy bear that will be given to a Wolfson patient through Christmas. The players spent time visiting each room, distributing gifts and autographing items.

Tight end George Wrighster III was part of the group that visited the hospital on Monday. Wrighster III, along with his son, Damon, purchased Nintendo DS game systems for each child, which quickly brought smiles to the patients.

"We are very fortunate to be in this position," Wrighster III said. "We just want to come over here and lift their spirits. They are all going through a tough time, having to spend the holidays in the hospital. Hopefully this will bring some joy to them."

Along with Wrighster and Pashos, Mike Walker, Paul Smith, Greg Estandia, Mkristo Bruce, Cleo Lemon, Quentin Groves, Brian Witherspoon, Thomas Williams, Drew Miller and Tim Mattran also participated in the visit to the hospital.

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