New York Rangers News

Anthem singer has 'best experience ever'

20-year-old DiMataris' first NHL game is one she will surely never forget

Tuesday, 03.22.2011 / 10:41 PM / News
newyorkrangers.com
X
Share with your Friends


Anthem singer has \'best experience ever\'
Learn More About Garden of Dreams

By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

One year ago today, Melissa DiMataris was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.

On Tuesday night, a recovering Melissa not only attended her first hockey game at Madison Square Garden, she also sang the National Anthem prior to the Rangers contest with the Florida Panthers.

“Oh my gosh, it was the best experience ever,” exclaimed DiMataris, 20, after exiting the ice to thunderous applause. “I’m still shaking. I don’t have the words to describe it. It was exhilarating.”

Melissa DiMataris, who is winning her fight against cancer, had a truly winning moment when she performed the National Anthem before Tuesday night's Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.
DiMataris received the opportunity to perform the anthem through the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that strives to "make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles." Members of the foundation heard DiMataris sing earlier this month at a benefit reception for the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy department at the Westchester Medical Center, where she receives treatments to thwart her cancer, and arranged for Tuesday’s on-ice performance.

“Garden of Dreams brought the Rockettes to the hospital through the child life program,” said DiMataris, who is hoping to conclude treatment early this summer and then return to Rockland Community College in the fall. “I told them I love to sing, and now I am here! All my friends are so excited. It’s all over Facebook!”

The Blauvelt, N.Y., resident arrived at The Garden around 5 p.m. and soon thereafter was down on the ice for a run-through of the anthem. She received a behind-the-scenes tour of MSG and even saw several of the players preparing for Tuesday’s game.

“This is my first hockey game ever,” said DiMataris. “I’m really excited. I got a glimpse of it all. I even saw some of the players kicking around a (soccer) ball in the back of the arena!”

After performing a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, DiMataris watched the Rangers win their fifth game in a row from a suite inside The Garden.

Buoyed by her special night at MSG, DiMataris now looks to finish the painful battle she has been winning.

“I’m at the hospital mostly for outpatient stuff now,” she said. “I’m getting my life back together. It’s awesome!”



New York Rangers TICKETS

Rangers Ticket Central
Rangers Individual Tickets
Rangers Season Tickets
Rangers Group Tickets
Rangers Premium Seating
Rangers SubscriberCentral
My Rangers Account Manager
TicketsNow: The Official Fan
Marketplace of the Rangers
TEAM

Schedule
Roster
Front Office
In the System
Stats
Standings
CONNECT

BlueshirtsUnited
Rangers Official App
Last Minute Ticket Alerts
Mobile Alerts
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
FANZONE

Contests/Promotions
Wallpaper
Photo Galleries
Sounds of the Game
COMMUNITY

Community Events
Youth Hockey
Rink Partners
Street Hockey
Rangers Road Tour
Charity Requests
Fundraising
TRADITION

Rangers History
All-Time Roster
Records/Awards
Retired Numbers
The Broadway Hat
newyorkrangers.com is the official Web site of the New York Rangers. New York Rangers is a trademark of MSG Holdings, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 MSG Holdings, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Advertising Info | Jobs | Student Opportunities | Contact Info | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Charity Requests | MSG Terms of Service | NHL.com Terms of Use