CHICAGO (CBS) — The preseason starts in a couple weeks for the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Stanley Cup isn’t quite done with its summer tour, and it brought plenty of smiles to the sick kids at Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville on Thursday.

“Some of these families are going through the very most difficult periods of their lives, and to get a little respite, a little sense of joy with something they probably wouldn’t normally see – the Stanley Cup – it’s wonderful,” Ronald McDonald House CEO Doug Porter said.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports kids and their families – who are staying at the center while the kids are treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital – took turns posing for pictures with the Stanley Cup. None of the kids knew they’d be seeing the trophy when they woke up Thursday morning.

“They’re bringing toys to hold up next to the cup. It’s been wonderful. They light up. The thing’s magical,” said Allison Mabbott, spokeswoman for Ronald McDonald House Charities. “I definitely walked through that line and got my own photo.”

Roger and Jennifer, two volunteers at Ronald McDonald House, were among those who also kissed the cup when they got their turn to pose with the trophy.

“This is actually exciting,” Jennifer said.

“It was an amazing experience,” Roger said.

The Stanley Cup has been criss-crossing the U.S. and Canada this summer, as Blackhawks players and coaches each get a day to spend with the cup – usually in their hometown. It’s also visited Lurie Children’s Hospital, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, the children’s wing at Evanston Hospital, and other children’s hospitals this summer.

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