On Thursday, September 30th, the New York Rangers and Garden of Dreams Foundation celebrated the start of the Rangers' 85th season by holding the 4th Annual Rangers Launch Party at PS 218 in the Bronx. For the first time since its inception, the Launch Party was brought outside of the Garden to the facility of WHEDCo, a Garden of Dreams partner organization. The 250 children who attended were treated to an evening of dinner, music, and interactive games on September 30th and then they each received a ticket for the October 1st Rangers game versus Ottawa.
Rangers alumni Nick Fotiu and Ron Duguay, and the Rangers Road Tour made the trip to the Bronx to kick off the Rangers 2010-11 season in style. After a full day of school, the children were treated to dinner and music, and activities including carnival games, bubble hockey, video games, and the Rangers Slap Shot booth.
“Parties like this are always the best. I am having as much fun as the children,” Ron Duguay said. “On top of this great party they get to go to the game tomorrow which is even better.”
Upon entry, each child received a commemorative Rangers and Garden of Dreams hat for the game the next day. After finishing dinner, the children lined up around the video games to take their best shots as the Rangers on Playstation 3 and Xbox while others tried to defeat the Rangers Legends in air, bubble, and tri-hockey. In between the games, children had their faces painted and danced throughout the gymnasium before it was time to head home and do homework.
“This is something really nice for these children. It is the best time of year, hockey is back, and to share it with the children is really special,” Fotiu said “I always love doing the events with the kids, it is really all about them tonight and tomorrow.”
Upon the conclusion of the party, each child received a box of popcorn and cotton candy to prepare them for the next day’s game. With the children cheering them on, the Blueshirts were victorious and defeated the Senators 5-4 in a shootout for the final home preseason game.
For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Media and fuse to "make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles," please log onto gardenofdreamsfoundation.org