Patients and parents at Batson Children's Hospital got to see a familiar face Tuesday afternoon.
Instead of seeing Jenna Bush Hager's smiling face on NBC's Today Show, though, they got to see her live.
Hager, the younger of the fraternal twin daughters of 43rd President George W. Bush and granddaughter of 41st President George H.W. Bush, was in Jackson to speak at the Sanderson Farms Championship Women's Day luncheon Tuesday. The third generation in the Bush family to be involved with the PGA Tour, Hager is a special correspondent for NBC, an author and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine.
“I'm thrilled to visit Batson Children's Hospital as part of the Sanderson Farms Championship,” said Hager, who read to patients from the book, “Read All About It!,” which she authored with her mother, former first lady Laura Bush. PGA Tour golfers John Merrick, Tim Wilkinson and Rhein Gibson, in town to compete in the tournament, came along.
Jenna Bush Hager reads from the book, "Read All About It!," that she authored with her mother, former first lady Laura Bush. At her side is Nicholas Page of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Said Hager: “Part of my job with NBC's Today Show is traveling to places such as schools and hospitals and meeting awesome people doing amazing work across the country. As a parent, children's hospitals are important to me because all children should have healthy and happy lives.”
Hager and husband Henry Hager are the parents of two young daughters, Mila and Poppy.
All proceeds from the Sanderson Farms Championship, underway through Nov. 8 at the Country Club of Jackson, go to charities, including Friends of Children's Hospital, a volunteer group dedicated to supporting Batson Children's Hospital.
Last year, the Sanderson Farms Championship, Mississippi's stop on the PGA Tour, donated $1.1 million to Friends. Those funds went to support the Children's Heart Center. This year's funds are designated for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants.
“We are so fortunate to have this partnership with the Sanderson Farms Championship,” said Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children's of Mississippi, the parent organization for pediatric care at UMMC. “Their commitment and support help us to serve the children of Mississippi.”
Deborah Bryant, wife of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, and NBC special correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, right, daughter of 43rd President George W. Bush, chat with Batson Children's Hospital patient DeAsia Scott.
Hager visited with each child in the second floor activity room of Batson Children's Hospital. “I have a little girl who's 2 years old,” she said to patient Lyssa Watkins, 4, of Vicksburg. “I think she'd love to come play with you.”
She and Deborah Bryant, wife of Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, then talked with patients receiving transfusions in the Children's Cancer Clinic.
“I always want to go see the kids,” Deborah Bryant said of visiting Batson Children's Hospital. “They are doing so many great things here.”