Inside Gillette Blog

Firefighters Bring the Carnival to Gillette Kids

Posted On: 07/14/2010

Categories: Events

All firefighters are everyday heroes. And today, a group of local firefighters went above and beyond the call of duty for kids at Gillette by hosting a carnival (yes, a carnival!) at our St. Paul hospital.  St. Paul firefighters filled an entire floor of our parking ramp with games, food, balloons, face painting, and more.  For our patients — many who can’t attend a community carnival because they’re recovering from surgeries or have complex disabilities — today was a day to “just be a kid.”

The Firefighters Carnival is a summertime favorite. It’s also an annual tradition here at Gillette, and it’s all thanks to a grateful family. At the height of the Polio epidemic in the 1950s, Saint Paul Fire Captain Burt Behr’s two young sons contracted the disease and were treated at Gillette. To thank us for the care his sons received, Burt planned a fun-filled carnival, just for our patients.

Through the years, Burt’s idea has grown…and grown…from games, food and prizes to also include pony rides and appearances by local celebrities and athletes. For example, today’s guests of honor included Minnesota Twins mascot T.C., Miss Minnesota, and the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders. Current and past Gillette patients of all ages are welcome. Best of all, the carnival travels room-to-room so patients unable to leave their rooms can still join in the fun.

Here’s a few photos of today’s festivities. For more, check out our Facebook page.