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'Dream Week' a thrill for 40 youngsters

Kids get a taste of all things MSG, including chance to skate with Rangers

Wednesday, 07.13.2011 / 2:55 PM / News
New York Rangers
DREAM WEEK PHOTO GALLERY

For the third consecutive summer, the Garden of Dreams Foundation hosted “Dream Week”; a week-long summer adventure for children from one of the Foundation’s 21 charity partner organizations.

This year, 40 youth from SCO Family of Services were chosen to participate in activities arranged for them by the New York Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Networks, MSG Sports Properties, MSG Entertainment and Fuse.

As part of the "Dream Week" festivities, youngsters got a chance to meet new Blueshirts star Brad Richards and present him with his first No. 19 Rangers jersey at the MSG Training Center.
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The week began on Wednesday, July 6 with the Rangers at the Madison Square Garden Training Center. After a brief welcome by Garden of Dreams staff, the children were led to the Rangers practice rink where they were given the opportunity to meet and skate with the newest member of the Rangers, Brad Richards, as well as Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko and Rangers Legend Rod Gilbert.

As part of the experience, each child received a personalized Rangers jersey prior to lacing up their skates. Once on the ice, the kids enjoyed learning the sport of sled hockey, testing their skills at a Rangers hockey station, taking photos at the No. 7 Rod Gilbert retirement banner, and getting skating tips from a few of their hockey heroes.

“We want the kids to know that people care about them,” Gilbert stated. “This gives them the pleasure of trying something new and if they succeed we see big smiles on their faces.”

In addition, Garden of Dreams Board Member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run DMC stopped by to say hi to the kids and encourage them out on the ice.

Following the skating party, children enjoyed lunch and a basketball “Dream Day” hosted by the entire NY Liberty team.

Dream Week continued on Thursday, July 8, as the kids returned to the MSG Training Center to spend the morning with the New York Knicks before traveling to the Red Bull Arena in the afternoon to refine their soccer skills with Red Bulls players courtesy of MSG Networks. On Friday, July 9, the kids met at the MSG Training Center for a special summer BBQ featuring various activities including the Rangers Road Tour with Rangers great Adam Graves and the Knicks City Dancers. On Sunday, the children visited the Prudential Center in Newark to see the Liberty defeat the Chicago Sky, 80-73. On Monday, July 11, the kids made their way to Radio City Music Hall for a dance lesson with the Radio City Rockettes, a tour of Radio City and a Cirque Du Soleil acrobatic tutorial. Then on Monday, the group boarded a double-decker bus for the ultimate tour of Times Square and finished up the day at Bowlmor Lanes with an afternoon of Disco Bowling with Fuse!

Dream Week concluded on Tuesday, July 12, when the Dream Week team visited the USTA Tennis Center, home of the US Open, to learn about tennis and receive tennis lessons from United States Tennis Association professionals. Following tennis, the group was treated to an end-of-week celebration at Planet Hollywood including dinner and an awards ceremony.

For more information on Dream Week 2011 or to learn more about the Garden of Dreams Foundation, please visit gardenofdreamsfoundation.org.