Kid Captain program celebrates 11 years

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IOWA CITY, Iowa. (KCRG) - Every child that has been a Hawkeye Kid Captain has at one point in their life received devastating news.

Hawkeye football players Brady Reiff (Left) and Brady Ross (Right) with Cooper Leeman, a Hawkeye Kid Captain, at a tour at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday August 10th, 2019. (MIKE O'BRIEN/KCRG)

"They get a lot of not so good surprises, so this is one thing where every surprise is a good one right now." Derek Yoder, father of Gabby Yoder who is a 2019 kid captain, said on Saturday.

On Saturday the 2019 kid captains got to tour Kinnick Stadium, with an exclusive look at the visitor's pink locker room as well as the Hawkeyes'. Each child had their own locker reserved with a custom jersey and trading cards.

"I found out that the pink is to make them so they're not very confident like the other team." said Lucy Roth, a kid captain from Iowa City.

"This never gets old, kids day is the absolute best to see all the kid captains and their families come together and they have the day of a lifetime." said co-founder and director of marketing for the UI Stead Family Hospital Cheryl Hogdson. "This is something they tell us they will never forget."

Hogdson admits that while she was confident in the program at its origin, she had no idea what it would blossom into more than a decade later.

"I would've never imagined back in 2009 that it would grow to what it is today, and that is a testament to the Iowa team, to the families and to everyone that supports and embraces kid captain." Hogdson said.