Dream Week continues as summer highlight

Youngsters had another unforgettable week at Training Center in 2012

Saturday, 08.18.2012 / 11:21 AM / Community
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Dream Week continues as summer highlight
For the fourth consecutive summer, the Garden of Dreams Foundation hosted \u201CDream Week\u201D; a week-long summer adventure for children from one of the Foundation\u2019s charity partner organizations.
Photos: Dream Week with the Rangers
Dream Week Awards Photo Gallery

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

This year, 40 youth from Children’s Aid Society 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.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist poses with award winners -- and his own 2006 Olympic gold medal -- during the Garden of Dreams "Dream Week" finale.
MORE DREAM WEEK PHOTOS

The 40 children joined the Rangers for Day 3 of Dream Week. After arriving that morning, the children were led to the Rangers practice rink where they were given the opportunity to meet and skate with Rangers Legends Rod Gilbert and Adam Graves

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, and getting skating tips from a few of their hockey heroes.

“This is just a real treat, a nice summer day, we get to bring the kids inside to cool off,” Graves said. “Not all of them have skated before, so it’s extra special. The Dream Week program is truly phenomenal and really shows what we can do at Madison Square Garden to change these children’s lives for one week.”

The children would spend the rest of the afternoon in their new Rangers threads and get to hone their newly acquired skills on Friday when the Rangers Road Tour returned with an afternoon Street Hockey session. Following the street hockey, Henrik Lundqvist came to Dream Week for the award ceremony. He joined fellow Olympic Medalists, past and present, New York Knicks forward and Olympic gold medalist, Carmelo Anthony; Knicks Assistant General Manager and Olympic gold medalist, Allan Houston; and Knicks alumnus and Olympic gold medalist, Ray Lump, in recognizing the children for their participation in Dream Week.

The remaining days of Dream Week were hosted by the other divisions of Madison Square Garden. In all, the group from Children’s Aid Society had it all. Their week began with a Road Trip to New York Giants Training Camp hosted by MSG Network, where they met several Giants players including Victor Cruz, Justin Tuck, and Martellus Bennett. They kicked off their Tuesday in the city with MSG Entertainment for a very special Christmas in August celebration at Radio City Music Hall. After meeting the Radio City Rockettes and visiting with Santa Claus, the group headed up to the Training Center for "Liberty Dream Day", which included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Liberty players' lounge, weight room, training room and locker room.

ollowing Wednesday morning’s skate, the children had a special lunchtime meet and greet with Garden of Dreams Board Member Darryl "DMC" McDaniels from the legendary hip hop group Run DMC and continued with an afternoon with the Knicks, including Head Coach Mike Woodson, Head Athletic Trainer Roger Hinds, Performance Specialist Andy Barr, and Knicks Forward #16 Steve Novak. Day four started at Hard Rock Café in Times Square where the children enjoyed a breakfast buffet and met Broadway star, Chester Gregory! After spending the morning at Hard Rock Café, the children traveled downtown to Fuse Studios where they had a chance to meet Fuse host, Esteban Serrano as well as Grammy Award Winning singer/songwriter, actor, author and new Fuse host, Ashanti! The Dream Week children’s Thursday ended by taking in that night’s Liberty game versus the Connecticut Sun. On Friday, August 17, the children traveled back up to the MSG Training Center for their last day of Dream Week which started with Cheese from the Harlem Globetrotters, a delicious BBQ lunch and various field day activities and an appearance from the Knicks City Dancers.

Dream Week concluded with an awards ceremony hosted by some very special Madison Square Garden celebrities, each child received a photo plaque and certificate, as well as autographed hockey stick from Henrik Lundqvist, autographed basketball from Carmelo Anthony and goodie bag from Steiner Sports.

Children’s Aid Society is one of the Garden of Dreams partner organizations. For 150 Years, the Children’s Aid Society has had a single mission: to do whatever New York City’s neediest children need. Its goal is to ensure the physical and emotional well being of children and families, and to provide every child with the support and opportunities needed to become a happy, healthy and successful adult. They provide services for every aspect of a child’s life, from infancy through adolescence, and include education, health, counseling, adoption and foster care, career readiness, arts and recreation, and emergency assistance.

For more information on the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit charity that works closely with all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company, including the Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Entertainment, MSG Networks and Fuse to "make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles," please log onto gardenofdreamsfoundation.org.