Joe Mauer passed a ball to Gillette patient Logan Swedberg Monday morning at a playroom he donated to Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. The sports-themed room is 22’ long x 14’ wide and comes complete with signed memorabilia from professional Minnesota teams, including the Twins and Vikings.
The ceremony opening the playroom was marked when 11-year-old Logan Swedberg, a longtime Gillette patient, threw the first pitch to Mauer from the pitcher's mound to the home plate in the carpeted floor.
Bisanz, who was a classmate of Mauer's at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, works at the hospital. She and Mauer have been engaged since December.
The sports-themed room includes an "open sky" ceiling fixture, mounted electronic game systems, child-sized cars and signed memorabilia such as jerseys, balls and pucks from members of the Twins, Vikings, Wild, Lynx and Timberwolves.
The playroom is located on the third floor of the hospital, at 200 University Avenue in St. Paul, in the advanced imaging and surgical waiting area.
"This room will be a wonderful respite for our patients and their families," Dr. Steven Koop, Gillette's medical director, said in a statement announcing the room's opening. "We're so grateful to Joe, a St. Paul native himself, for making such a generous donation benefitting the children we see here at Gillette."
After the dedication, Mauer and Bisanz made private visits with patients in their rooms.