Star Wars characters visit kids at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Kids at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital received some special visitors Thursday night. Star Wars characters from the 501st Legion went floor to floor giving out gifts and posing for pictures.

It was a special night for them, letting them meet some of their favorite characters and for a few minutes, forget about why they're at the hospital and let them be kids instead.

"We're just visiting the kids, bringing them gifts and seeing if we can cheer them up," Said Scott Rozema, who plays Darth Vader.

Rozema has been dressing as Darth Vader for eight years and now is making the hospital visits a monthly outing.

"Some kids are scared, some absolutely love it," said Rozema. "Sometimes you see the kids smile, which is great, and sometimes the nurses and parents say that's the first time they've smiled in a month which is a good feeling."

The kids' reactions were priceless.

"He's been ecstatic," said Cythia Reynolds, whose son Dennis is a patient at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. "I think it'll just like boost his spirits."

"It makes the kids smile," said Rozema. "It breaks up the monotony a little bit."

The Great Lakes Garrison of the 501st Legion used to visit the hospital every few months, but are now making their visits a monthly outing.

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