Ronald McDonald House:
On Friday afternoon, Ronald McDonald House in Nashville experienced a “Swedish Invasion,” with Preds players Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm, Calle Jarnkrok and Viktor Stalberg taking to the kitchen to bake sweet treats for the residents of the House.
An international charity, Ronald McDonald Houses provides families a place to stay while children are receiving medical care at a facility that is not near the family’s home. By providing meals in addition to a place to stay, families have the opportunity to focus on the health of their child rather than cooking and cleaning.
Forsberg admitted that he thought he was probably the best chef among the four players, having visited the location on four separate Community Relations days since he joined the Predators. Forsberg knew his way around the kitchen – grabbing utensils and cookie sheets out of drawers like a pro and leading the charge to complete the recipes. In just one hour, the four Swedes baked more than three dozen cookies, a dozen cupcakes, brownies and two pans of rice crispy treats.
While baking, the Preds were able to meet a young couple whose 8-day old son was undergoing a procedure at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In between measuring out flour, cracking eggs and decorating their treats, the players signed a few autographs and posed for pictures.
The young dad remarked, “These photos will be going in the baby book! My son will never believe it when I tell him in a few years when we’re at a game.”
For more information on Ronald McDonald House charities, visit www.rmhc.org.
- Alexis Witman
Kids who visited Rocketown on Friday afternoon after school let out were met with a pretty cool surprise, as forwards Mike Fisher and Rich Clune were in the building to participate in a ping-pong tournament. Complete with referees and a scoreboard, Fisher and Clune each held their own through several rounds of the event.
Rocketown, located on Fourth Avenue, is a place for local teens to find “peace, purpose and possibilities.” In addition to ping-pong tables, Rocketown features a skate shop and park, live entertainment venues, a recording studio, art and computer stations, after-school activities, a coffee shop and much more.
“It’s amazing to give back,” Clune said. “When I was a kid I remember when some Blue Jays players, being from Toronto, came to my school. Young kids look up to pro-athletes and it’s great to be able to come somewhere like this. It’s fun for them and it’s fun for us too. We’re around the game [hockey] so much and it’s always good to just take a bit to get out into the community and help out.”
For more information about Rocketown, visit www.rocketown.com.
- Alexis Witman
As if training camp wasn’t enough, Taylor Beck joined in “sprint day,” during a visit to gym class at Cole Elementary in Antioch. Preds broadcaster Stu Grimson joined Beck in visiting with kids at the school.
At the end of October, Cole Elementary will be the site of the Predators’ annual KaBoom! playground build, where Preds staff members will build a new playground for the kids at the school in just one day.
- Alexis Witman
Upwards of 50 young hockey players had some extra assistance on Friday evening, as Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Gabriel Bourque joined the Preds G.O.A.L! (Get Out And Learn) session at Centennial Sportsplex.
Ellis helped show the 4 through 8-year-olds some of the finer points on passing, while Bourque assisted on helping kids put the puck in the net.
For Bourque, the turnout was impressive, and he had arguaebly as much fun as the participants.
"It's fun to see the kids' faces when you come out there," Bourque said. "I remember when I was a kid, I was always happy when I saw junior or NHL players on the ice with us. It's fun to make their day."
For more information on G.O.A.L!, please click here
- Brooks Bratten
For a recap of day one of the Predators Community Days click here.