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Iowa football crowd stands to wave at children in neighboring hospital

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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It's the newest tradition in college football, and it's already one of the best.

The University of Iowa unveiled a heartwarming scene in its season-opening win on Saturday when fans stood and waved to the children watching from the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital across the street from the stadium.

The sold-out crowd at Kinnick Stadium got up and did their cool new version of "the wave" at the end of the first quarter of the Hawkeyes' 24-3 win over Wyoming, and the kids waved back from the top floor of the hospital.

It's the latest initiative in the history of the partnership between the hospital and the football team at Iowa.

Since 2009, the team has had a "kid captain," a current or former patient from the hospital who joins the players on the sidelines during each home game and gets a special jersey.

Fans are also encouraged to donate money to the hospital for every touchdown the Hawkeyes score during the season as part of the "Touchdowns for Kids" program, which raised $42,000 last season.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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