By Jennifer Cochran , on 09/25/2013

The Edmonton Oilers visited Linwood Elementary school in Oklahoma City to interact with the students on Thursday morning. Mercy, a sponsor of the Oklahoma City Barons, holds a partnership with Linwood Elementary as a part of a mentoring program.

“The program is a great way for the Mercy ministries to reach out to the communities we live in,” said Rachel Wright with Mercy of Oklahoma City.

Employees from Mercy make visits to the school to work with the students and have mentoring relationships, which, according to Wright, is really fulfilling for the co-workers and the kids. On Thursday, Mercy brought in a few extra guests to visit the students at the school.

The Edmonton Oilers had the opportunity to participate in the student’s artistic and physical activities. Jesse Joensuu and Philip Larsen read to students in the library and Devan Dubnyk and David Perron assisted in a P.E. class. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Hamilton played drums with a music class, while Ryan Smyth, Nick Schultz and Ben Eager helped out in art class.

“The players did great with the kids,” Wright said. “They just jumped right in. This is a arts driven school so they were painting, drawing, and reading with the kids. They did some PE activities too, which was fun.”

The kids enjoyed every minutes of being with the Oilers, evident in the screams and smiling faces. And while most had never heard of the likes of Nugent-Hopkins, Smyth or Perron, just seeing an athlete in jersey brought smiles to their faces.

“The kids loved it. They walk down the hall way and see these giant hockey players and their faces just light up,” said Perron. “I think that whenever kids see adults come into the room or the classroom it’s always fun to remember to be a kid and just have fun."

Mercy has partnered with the Barons since 2010 and is focused on reaching out to their community.

“Mercy is focused on wellness,” Wright said. “That’s a big a piece of staying active and the Barons live by that every day. We are a big partner with the Barons because we support everything that they are doing within the community."

Mercy is the sponsor for the NHL Showcase featuring the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars. The Showcase is Friday night September 27 at the Cox Convention Center. Puck drop is set for 7pm.

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