The Rangers got an early jump on Thanksgiving, as they hosted a special turkey dinner for local children at Nino s Restaurant in Manhattan on Tuesday. Bobby Holik, Dan Blackburn (right), Matthew Barnaby and Blueshirt Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert helped carve a turkey and read a Thanksgiving story with 12 ‘Rangers club members’ from the after-school program at PS 229 in Queens. PS 229’s after-school program is among the 120 programs and 30,000 students supported by Rangers Cheering for Children and the Madison Square Garden Cheering for Children Foundation.
“It always great to be a part of this kind of event,” said Barnaby, who was accompanied by his young son, Matthew, Jr.. “It’s nice to be able to share your experiences with the people of New York, especially during the holiday season. The kids really appreciate this opportunity.”
Blackburn, who along with Holik did a terrific job carving and serving the 25-pound bird, echoed the same sentiments.
“It’s nice to be a part of the New York community, but there’s something extra special about this place during the holidays,” said the 19-year old netminder. “We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are in and it’s nice to be able to give back to our young fans.”
Rangers Cheering for Children support for the after-school community includes opportunities to visit MSG, interaction with athletes, employees and the coaching staff, equipment donation and an educational curriculum. Rangers club members meet weekly and take part in interactive activities that utilize the game and people of Rangers hockey to teach health, nutrition, anatomy, geography, goal setting and teamwork.