The New York Rangers announced that the organization will host Garden of Dreams Night on Friday, December 14 during their game against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden.
Garden of Dreams Night will take place during the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s fifth annual Garden of Dreams Week, which celebrates children from across the tri-state area by providing them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the Rangers, Knicks, Rockettes and MSG Networks. The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with The Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Networks Inc. to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles. With 30 partner organizations throughout the tri-state area, including hospitals, wish organizations and community-based organizations, the Foundation is committed to helping children who are facing challenges such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illness and foster care. Since it began in 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has brightened the lives of more than 375,000 children and their families.
Several children who are part of the Garden of Dreams Foundation and its partner organizations will be recognized throughout the game on December 14, including:
- Five-year-old Emma Larson from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will be participating in the ceremonial puck drop prior to the start of the game. Emma was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Because of experimental treatment at New York- Presbyterian Hospital, she is now able to stand and walk using a walker. Emma met her favorite player, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, for the first time in 2016 at MSG Training Center, and Henrik recently surprised her with a Holiday shopping spree at FAO Schwarz.
- Eighteen-year-old Manny De La Rosa will be performing the National Anthem. Manny is a member of Children’s Aid, a partner organization of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, who sang in the Garden of Dreams Talent Show, attended the Garden of Dreams Prom, and received the Garden of Dreams Inspire Scholarship. He is now attending New York University.
- Six children ages 7-17, will be Honorary Starters and stand alongside Rangers players on the blue line for the National Anthem. This will include fifteen-year-old John Thomas Crowdell from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who was diagnosed with Osteochondritis Dissecans and is unable to play hockey. In addition to being an Honorary Starter, John is visiting MSG Training Center on Wednesday for the Rangers’ practice.
- The guest game director will be nine-year-old Vinny Canavan. Vinny was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome when he was four years old is currently in partial remission. In partnership with Make-A-Wish New Jersey, the Garden of Dreams Foundation helped fulfill Vinny’s wish of meeting his favorite player, Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello, skating with Mats at the MSG Training Center and receiving a tour of MSG Training Center.
- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will host children from GDF partner organization, the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), in “Henrik’s Crease” (one of the Lounges at Madison Square Garden) during the game. These children will attend the game also courtesy of the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF).
In addition, tickets for the Rangers’ annual Casino Night, Presented by Empire City Casino, will be available for purchase beginning on December 14. The fundraising event, which benefits the Garden of Dreams Foundation, will take place on Wednesday, February 13 at TAO Downtown, and will feature the entire New York Rangers team, coaching staff, and select alumni. To purchase tickets, fans can visit newyorkrangers.com/community.