On Friday, February 1st, the New York Rangers and Garden of Dreams partner organization, the Ronald McDonald House of New York held its Annual Skate with the Greats Event at Rockefeller Center. This year marked the 19th year that the Ronald McDonald House and the Rangers have teamed up to raise money for children with cancer and their families. This year’s event featured a long list of storied Rangers alumni from different eras in Rangers history. Long time House supporters Rod Gilbert and Brian Leetch headlined the alumni in attendance. The other distinguished group of alumni featured the Captain Mark Messier, and fellow Stanley Cup champions Adam Graves, Stephane Matteau, and Mike Richter, along with Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Pete Stemkowski, and Gilles Villemure.
The event kicked off with a stage program showcasing some of this year’s partners and biggest supporters before introducing the Rangers alumni, who presented one child from the House a Rangers jersey and made him an “honorary Ranger” for the evening. The family addressed the crowd and shared the impact the House has had on their experience since their temporary relocation to New York from Minnesota while their son is undergoing treatment.
“The fan’s support is always overwhelming,” said Gilbert. “To see them year after year come out and support the house it is unbelievable. This is one of the most rewarding things we do and I’m happy to help raise money and support the House in all they do.”
Throughout the evening, fans had an opportunity to skate and get an autograph from the former Rangers as well as big on some unique auction items in the live and silent auctions. It is estimated that the event raised over $700,000 for Ronald McDonald House of New York.
Beginning in 1994, through the efforts of Rod Gilbert and Brian Leetch, the New York Rangers and Ronald McDonald House teamed up to raise funds to support families of children with cancer. The Skate with the Greats event has helped to raise more than $7.6 million for the Ronald McDonald House of New York, whose mission is to provide a home away from home for children undergoing active treatment. Since its founding, more than 25,000 families have stayed at Ronald McDonald House of New York.
Ronald McDonald House of New York is one of the Garden of Dreams partner organizations. Ronald McDonald House of New York provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Ronald McDonald House in New York City is the largest facility of its type in the world. The House can accommodate 83 families, and it is filled to capacity almost every night. Here families find a strong, supportive and caring environment, which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems.
The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. Through ongoing programs that use the magic of MSG – including the Knicks, the Rangers, the Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Networks and Fuse – the Foundation develops strong, long-term relationships that truly change lives. Since its inception in September 2006, Garden of Dreams has created thousands of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that have brought joy and happiness to more than 225,000 children and their families, including those facing homelessness, extreme poverty, illness and foster care. For more information, visit www.GardenofDreamsFoundation.org
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