On October 27 and October 28, the New York Rangers and Garden of Dreams Foundation hosted a very special dream experience for 15-year-old Ryan McCarthy of Staten Island, NY.
Ryan, a passionate Rangers fan, was invited to watch the Rangers take on the Atlanta Thrashers at MSG along with his family on October 27. Prior to the game, Ryan was given “VIP” treatment from Rangers staff who set-up a private meet and greet with Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti, Dave Maloney, John Giannone and Stan Fischler and arranged for the family to sit rink side to watch the Blueshirts warm-up. To top off this exciting start to his experience, many of Ryan’s favorite players slapped him five as they exited the ice and went to the dressing room to prepare for the start of the game.
|Staten Island resident Ryan McCarthy, 15, and his family pose with Blueshirts defenseman Marc Staal in the MSG Training Center dining hall during the family's Oct. 28 visit to the Rangers' practice facility. |
With Ryan’s excitement sky-high after warm-ups, he and his family then went up to a catered suite where they watched the game and received personalized Rangers jerseys. During the game, the group met former Ranger Pete Stemkowski, and spent time taking in the action with Adam Graves who was given a big hug by Ryan when he arrived in the suite. Ryan was even welcomed by the Rangers on GardenVision during the third period, which was a thrill he will never forget.
The next day, Ryan’s dream continued when he and his family had an opportunity to watch the Rangers practice with Graves at the MSG Training Center and get a behind the scenes tour of the state-of-the-art facility. After taking in the team’s spirited practice, Ryan was greeted by Rangers Legend Mark Messier, which was an absolute thrill for the entire family that bleeds Rangers blue. Ryan, who was stunned to see the former Rangers captain, gave Messier a big hug and couldn’t help but ask if he’d be able to meet Sean Avery
Hoping to meet Avery and many other current players, Ryan and his family made their way to the team’s dining hall to eat lunch. While they were eating, a number of Rangers players began trickling into the room, including Avery who immediately noticed Ryan and stopped by his table to say hello. After meeting Avery, several Rangers, including Ryan Callahan
, Michael Del Zotto
, Marc Staal
and Head Coach John Tortorella, introduced themselves and offered to sign autographs and take pictures with Ryan and his family.
The experience was truly a dream come true for Ryan, who was introduced to the Rangers by Garden of Dreams partner organization the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
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 on to gardenofdreamsfoundation.org