On November 22, the New York Rangers hosted their 2010-11 "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 evening’s experience.
The night kicked off with children from Life Center and Harlem Dowling watching warm ups from ice level. A few minutes before warm-ups the groups met various MSG announcers, received autographs and took photos. While his special meet and greet was happening, sixteen lucky children from Harlem Dowling and Life Center formed a High Five Line to wish the players luck as they entered the rink for warm-ups.
|A youngster from Life Center drops the puck for the ceremonial faceoff involving Rangers alternate captain Ryan Callahan prior to the Nov. 22 Garden of Dreams Night game against the Calgary Flames. |
As a part of the night’s activities, Gary, from Children’s Aid Society, served as an honorary MSG reporter, Arifa, from WHEDCo, was afforded the chance to be an honorary MSG photographer and Jorge Heredia, from Harlem Dowling, was an honorary stick kid for the team that night. Stephanie, from Children’s Aid Society, even got to serve as guest PA announcer for the Rangers, welcoming the fans to the matchup between the Blueshirts and the Calgary Flames. Children also enjoyed Zamboni rides prior to puck drop and during the first intermission.
After the ice had been cleaned, the teams took the ice for the game and the Children’s Aid Society Choir took their position at the Zamboni Gate to kick start the night with the National Anthem. Following the anthem, a child from Life Center dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off with Ryan Callahan
and then the game was underway.
For the game, the groups of children watched 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. Members from the Rangers interactive squad came up to hype up the children for their big moment, certainly something they will never forget. In addition, the children were entertained between periods in the suites by a magician and a caricaturist.
Throughout the evening, the Rangers also provided Garden of Dreams information tables in the concourse of the arena where fans stopped by to learn more about the Foundation and how they can support the mission. Co-branded giveaway items, including key chains and stereo ear buds, were distributed to interested fans, who were encouraged to bring a new or gently-used coat to the game as a part of the Annual Coat Drive.
Altogether, it was a feel-good evening for the Rangers, who defeated the Flames 2-1, the fans and the Garden of Dreams children.
Garden of Dreams is a non-profit organization that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, MSG Media, 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