Throughout the offseason the LA KISS players have made monthly visits to the Children’s hospital of Orange County (CHOC). During these visits, the players spend quality one-on-one time playing games and interacting with the children receiving care. Offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga is a regular on these visits; he truly takes pleasure in, and looks forward to, visiting the hospital every month.
“It is an honor and a privilege to visit the kids every month,” said Tevaga. “I really enjoy playing with them and taking their mind off of their treatment.”
Tevaga mentioned, to him, the best part of the visits are when he “walks into their room and the child immediately puts a smile on their face.” He continued, “Those smiles are what make the CHOC visits so rewarding.”
During their most recent visit, in mid December, Rayshaun Kizer, Shannon Tevaga, and Terrance Smith hung out with, and passed out Christmas gifts, to the patients at CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center (OPI). This dedicated outpatient facility allows patients to receive the treatment they need without being admitted for an overnight stay at the hospital. The staff of the OPI was very grateful and welcoming of the players visiting the outpatient clinic. The staff indicated, when people visit CHOC, they normally end up going to CHOC’s main hospital; as a result, the patients in the OPI rarely get visitors. This circumstance made the gifts and quality time with the children even more impactful.
Rayshaun Kizer loves visiting the children and supporting the local community.
“It is always a pleasure to pass out gifts to the children and give back to the community,” Kizer said.
Kizer has been visiting CHOC ever since he joined the LA KISS prior to the 2015 season.
“As a parent, these visits really make you appreciate the health and well-being of your own children and puts into perspective what really matters in life,” Kizer explained.
Although December’s visit was Terrance Smith’s first time visiting CHOC with the LA KISS, he has been involved in community outreach programs during his whole AFL career. During his time with the Jacksonville Sharks, Smith regularly visited children’s hospitals in the Jacksonville area.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity to show my support for the kids,” Smith said. “I love every second of the time I spend here.”
Learn more about CHOC here.
On December 8th the LA KISS hosted their First Annual LA KISSMASS party at the Tilted Kilt in Orange. The event supported ABC 7’s and the Southern California Firefighters Association’s 23rd annual Sparks of Love Toy Drive. The LA KISS Korps, the best fans in the AFL, were overwhelmingly supportive of the toy drive and brought 175 toys to be donated to the people in need in our community. One family certainly was in the giving spirit and donated 28 toys to the drive. Over the past two decades, the Sparks of Love Toy Drive has collected over 9 million toys in the Orange, Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino communities. Last year Sparks of Love distributed over 500,000 toys to children in need.
All of the toys donated at the KISSMASS party went to support the Sparks of Love’s December 18th Stuff-a-Bus event at the Honda Center. At 4:30 am, before the crack of dawn, LA KISS defensive back Rayshaun Kizer, as well as many of the KISS girls, were at the Honda Center to pack the busses. During this all day event, which ended at 6:30 pm, the Orange County community filled a record-setting 31 busses! This broke the previous record of 27 busses that was set at last year’s event at the Honda Center.
Rayshaun Kizer truly enjoyed his experience at the KISSMASS party and at the Stuff-a-Bus event.
“We had a great time supporting our community and interacting with the best and most loyal fans in Arena Football,” Kizer said. “We would not be here today if it wasn’t for our fans; I just want to personally say ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you.”
At the KISSMASS party, the LA KISS Korps, for the first time, were able to meet head coach Omarr Smith and many of the newly acquired LA KISS players. Fans welcomed Marcus Pittman, Terrance Smith and Caesar Rayford into the LA KISS family. Donovan “Captain” Morgan, Rayshaun Kizer, Shannon Tevaga, Kenny Spencer, and the LA KISS girls were also in attendance signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans.
The KISSMASS party was Terrance Smith’s first time interacting with the KISS Korps.
“It was my first time meeting the fans, I was inspired by how dedicated they are to the community and our team,” Smith said. He continued with a big smile and expressed, he can’t wait for the season to start so he “can show the fans the plays I can make.”