DARRINGTON, Wash. -- Members of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders soccer team visited Darrington Monday, providing a lending hand and welcome distraction to a community devastated by the mudslide.
Six Seahawks, including Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, and six Sounders met with children and others for a private community gathering at the Darrington Community Center Monday evening. They signed autographs, helped serve food to the kids and threw the football or kicked the soccer ball around.
"I mean it's tough to come around at a tragic time like this, but to be able to offer a little bit of release or a distraction from what's going on, I mean that's all you can really do," said Smith. "We're just trying to help people as much as we can and this is just our way."
The Seahawks and the Sounds kept the visit under wraps in advance because they really wanted to make this a private gathering for the community. The team also encouraged people to donate to relief efforts.
Both Smith and Sounders forward Kenny Cooper said the visit gave them a deeper appreciation for what the people in Darrington are going through.
The mudslide struck the nearby mountainside community of Oso north of Seattle on March 22, killing more than 20 and leaving more than two dozen missing. It was one of the deadliest landslides in U.S. history.