SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Rob Gronkowski, who used to play for the New England Patriots, visited Shriners Children’s New England in Springfield on Tuesday.

Gronk was dressed as “Robbie the Elf” to surprise children and their families for the holiday season. He played air hockey and soccer, painted, and tried making origami with the patients. Each child received a gift that included footballs, jerseys, and sneakers.

“We are so honored that Rob chose to visit Shriners Children’s New England this holiday season! He was extremely generous with his time and really brought a smile to our patients and staff,” said Frances Marthone, Ph.D., RN, Administrator at Shriners Children’s New England. “Many of our patients have conditions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It can be quite challenging for the child and also the family. It’s so wonderful to be able to provide them all with an experience they will never forget!”

Shriners is a non-profit organization that provides orthopedic specialty care to children in western Massachusetts and throughout New England.