On Tuesday, November 10, the Rangers teamed up with the Garden of Dreams Foundation to treat 25 children from WHEDCo to a skating party at the MSG Training Center.
Upon arrival, the children were greeted by Vinny Prospal, Wade Redden
and Michal Rozsival. After getting briefly acquainted with one another, the kids received a tour of the Rangers’ practice facility from the players.
|Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival helps a youngster get set to take the MSG Training Center Ice during the Rangers/GDF Skating Party. |
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Redden, who is in his second season with the Blueshirts, embraced the role of tour guide. “It’s not every day kids have the chance to get a behind the scenes look at a place like this,” he said. “I want them to see not only what type of facility this is but get an idea of how much preparation goes into our job as well. Hopefully they’re enjoying it…But I’m sure they’re itching to get out on the ice!”
Before hitting the ice, the children were directed to the locker room where they each found a locker with their very own nameplate and Rangers jersey. Once the kids were all geared up, the group was escorted to the Rangers bench, where they were welcomed by Rangers radio play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert. Albert, who was happy to take time out of his busy schedule to be a part of this special event, tested the kids to see if they were paying attention during the tour and formally introduced the players onto the ice.
After Prospal, Redden and Rozsival were introduced to the ice and met the kids with high-fives at the bench, the group joined the players on the ice for skating, photos and autographs.
"It’s great to be able to give back to our community like this," said Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival. "I’ve done this event before and I really enjoy being a part of it."
Representatives from the Wheelchair Sports Federation and the New York Rangers Sled Hockey Team were also on-hand for demonstrations and lessons on how to play sled hockey.
At the end of this special experience, the kids not only received gift bags and snacks from the players, but were personally invited to attend a game later this season.
Redden delivered the good news to the kids, who were very excited and left the Training Center looking forward to the next time they would see their new friends.
For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, please visit gardenofdreamsfoundation.org