On February 28, 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 Neve from SCO Family of Services singing the National Anthem as the Rangers were getting set to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following the anthem, Quinn from Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off with Ryan Callahan and then the game was underway.
|Jake Santoriella lines up for the National Anthem as the Rangers honorary starter. |
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Groups of children from the NYPD Widows and Children’s Fund 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, Samuel from WHEDco served as a guest reporter with MSG Network’s Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti, Jazmine and Isaiah from Harlem Dowling, were afforded the chance to be honorary Blue Crew members, Joelly, from Children’s Aid Society, showed off her skills as a guest musician and Tyler from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital was honorary Game Director . Isaac from WHEDco, even got to serve as guest PA announcer for the Rangers, welcoming the fans to the matchup between the Blueshirts and the Lightning and Jake, from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, joined the Rangers as an Honorary Starter on the blue line for the National Anthem. Children also enjoyed Zamboni rides prior to puck drop and during the intermissions.
Altogether, it was a feel-good evening for the Rangers, who defeated the Lightning 4-1 capping off another great night for the Garden of Dreams children who were able to participate in the night’s festivities.
The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. Through ongoing programs that use the magic of MSG – including the Knicks, the Rangers, the Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Networks and Fuse – the Foundation develops strong, long-term relationships that truly change lives. Since its inception in September 2006, Garden of Dreams has created thousands of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that have brought joy and happiness to more than 225,000 children and their families, including those facing homelessness, extreme poverty, illness and foster care. For more information, visit gardenofdreamsfoundation.org.