Gophers punter donating bowl gifts and raising $25k for children’s hospital

One Gophers player is trying to make a big impact on his community.
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Every once in while, among the endless stream of bad stories in sports we find a real gem. 

Minnesota Golden Gophers punter Peter Mortell is as selfless and genuinely nice a young man as you will find in college football. Last season, he used his $452 Best Buy gift card from the Gophers’ Citrus Bowl package last season to purchase gifts for children at the St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis. This season the senior decided to raise the stakes and think bigger:

"The feedback and support from the community was overwhelming even up to a few months ago, so I said, ‘How can we do something bigger and better and reach more people with this giving community that we have?’ " Mortell told the Pioneer Press. "And the scary thing is I don’t think we are even close to being done."

So Mortell, in addition to pledging the $200 gift card he’ll get for playing in the Quick Lane Bowl, set up a crowdfunding site to raise $25,000 for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital called  ‘A Very Specialist Christmas.’

I’m proud to partner with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to raise money and buy gifts for the many teenage patients who are spending their holiday in a hospital room. Many times, people generously donate gifts for younger kids and children. As amazing as this is, often the demographic of teenage patients gets overlooked- but not this year. My goal is to raise money so that we can purchase gifts that not only current patients at the hospital can use, but future patients as well.

He originally set a goal of $10,000, but saw that number passed within 12 hours. So he upped it to $25,000. As on Monday afternoon, $21,415 of the $25,000 had been raised. What an outstanding act of kindness from this young man. 

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