There was magic in the air last Friday night at the Concourse Level of Rockefeller Plaza where some of NHL’s legendary NY Ranger’s mingled with their die hard fans to raise money for this year’s “Skate with the Greats.” The event raised $760K For Ronald McDonald House, New York.
I was so thrilled to attend this awesome event with my children, my husband and our family friend Kevin. My husband John and Kevin are both BIG Rangers enthusiasts and what a wonderful way to meet their favorite players by supporting such a great cause. The proceeds from the event go to support the Ronald McDonald House. Their facilities provide a home-away-from-home for families staying in New York City while their children undergo active cancer treatments.
There were so many special moments with each player we met. When shaking the “tough as nails” Ranger, Nick Fotiu’s hand my husband called out,”Now, right here is a hockey legend! Such a pleasure to meet you!” It was also thrilling to meet the larger than life 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Stephane Matteau who after learning my son plays hockey said, “What position do you play?”My seven year old son said quietly, “All positions.” Matteau responded, “That’s good, That’s real good, John.”
Each player was more than happy to sign fan memorabilia including hockey pucks, Ranger jerseys and even my husband’s huge size 13 hockey skates.
While meeting 1994 Stanley Cup Champion, Jay Wells my son held up his puck and said. “Would you please sign my puck?” Wells then dug deep into his pocket and said, “I’ll sign your puck if you hold this for me.” Just at that moment he placed his 1994 Stanley Cup Ring in the palm of my son’s hand. Little John had a look of shock on his face as he stared at the ring without saying a word. Then my husband asked Wells what every New York Ranger fan wants to know, “What was it like winning the Stanley Cup?”
Wells told how the day of the parade was all just a blur. He went on to talk about how touched he was by the amazing Ranger fans. He described being a top of the float with his team mates headed down the Canyon of Heroes. He said, “I had goosebumps the whole time.”
My husband then thanked Ron Greschner once married to supermodel Carol Alt for all the endless and awesome hours of entertainment he gave him as a kid. Ron responded with a laugh, “You’re welcome.” and then messed my sons hair with his hand and took a picture with all of us.
Ranger’s in attendance were:
Jay Wells, Brian Mullen, Nick Fotiu, Michael Richter, Ron Duguay, Rod Gilbert, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Ron Greschner.
After we bid on our silent auction items, chowed down on the delicious spread during the reception and had our memorabilia signed. We then took to the ice to skate with the Rangers on the iconic Rink at Rockefeller Center.
The best moment of the night came when we returned home and my daughter Ava took her signed hockey puck and tied a bow on it and said, “Mom, if it’s ok. I’d like to give my puck to my teacher at school who’s a BIG Ranger’s fan.” Her teacher is an amazing person who has been bravely fighting breast cancer this past year and absolutely loves all things Rangers. I smiled at my daughter and said, “Of course you can, that’s actually perfect.” My little ten year old daughter understood possibly more than any of us what the “Skate with the Greats” event was all about that night… giving back to others.
Please click here to donate and show your support for the amazing Ronald McDonald House.
Ranger’s Rod Gilbert and Brian Leetch, originally started the “Skate with the Greats” fundraiser which has now grown into a widely attended and highly anticipated event year.
“Skate with the Greats has become our traditional kick-off event to start the year and each year, the excitement builds for the next one,” said Richard Martin, director of development and acting COO of Ronald McDonald House New York. “We love the extra special element Rangers fans add to the already generous, giving spirit of the event.”
About the Ronald McDonald House New York
The Ronald McDonald House New York is an AWESOME charity that provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive and caring environment which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems. The House’s location in Manhattan, in close proximity to 16 major medical and cancer treatment centers, draws children and families from across the country and the world, as well as from the metropolitan New York City area. To donate or learn more about this great organization click here. www.rmh-newyork.org.
The Rangers participation is made possible through a partnership with the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with the Rangers and all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company to make dreams come true for children facing obstacles.