On December 5, the New York Rangers hosted their annual "Garden of Dreams Night" to raise awareness of the Garden of Dreams Foundation and to help make dreams come true for children facing obstacles.
Throughout the evening, Garden of Dreams programming was a focal point of all areas of the game presentation and allowed for many children to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at MSG.
The night kicked off with the Children’s Aid Society Chorus singing both the Canadian and National Anthem as the Rangers were getting set to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Following the anthems, Giovanni Sheppard from the Children’s Aid Society dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off with Ryan Callahan
and then the game was underway.
|A smiling Giovanni Sheppard from the Children’s Aid Society leaves the ice after dropping the puck for the ceremonial face-off between Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf on the Dec. 5 Garden of Dreams Night. |
Groups of children from the Uniformed Firefighters Association, Children’s Aid Society and the Steven & Alexander Cohen Children’s Medical Center were able to watch the game from a catered suite and received visits from Rangers alumni.
During the first television timeout in the first period, the kids had the thrill of being welcomed on GardenVision, a moment they surely will remember for the rest of their lives. In addition, the children were entertained between periods in the suites by a magician and a caricaturist.
As a part of the night’s activities, Aurora Ismali, from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, served as an honorary in-arena host, Angel Jackson, from Children’s Aid Society, was afforded the chance to be an honorary Blue Crew member, Anthony Griffith, from SCO Family of Services, showed off his skills as a guest musician and Jose Ramos, from Children’s Aid Society, was an honorary stick kid for the team that night. Tyler Mejordo, from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, even got to serve as guest PA announcer for the Rangers, welcoming the fans to the matchup between the Blueshirts and the Leafs. Children also enjoyed Zamboni rides prior to puck drop and during the intermissions.
Rangers fans also showed their support for the Foundation that night by contributing to the Annual Coat Drive. Co-branded giveaway items, including hockey glove key chains and pens, were distributed to all fans that donated a new or gently-used coat as they entered the arena.
|On Garden of Dreams Night, the Rangers welcomed Tyler Mejordo, from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, as guest PA announcer. He welcomed fans to the matchup between the Blueshirts and Leafs. |
Altogether, it was a feel-good evening for the Rangers, who despite being defeated by the Maple Leafs 4-2, were proud to brighten the lives of many Garden of Dreams children.
Garden of Dreams is a non-profit organization that works closely with all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company, including the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, MSG Networks, MSG Entertainment and Fuse to "make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles."
Garden of Dreams partners with local children's hospitals, "wish" organizations and community-based organizations to build on-going, unforgettable programs for children in the tri-state area who are suffering from devastating illness, homelessness, abuse, hunger, extreme poverty and tragedy.
A copy of the Foundation's annual report may be obtained, upon request, from the Garden of Dreams Foundation, 2 Penn Plaza, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10121 or from the office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.
For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, call (212) 465-4170 or visit the foundation's web site at www.gardenofdreamsfoundation.org