My husband John, was like a kid in a candy store when he woke up last Thursday morning! You see, that night we were heading into the city for a Skate with the Greats Ronald McDonald House of New York/Rangers event at Rockefeller Center. My husband has not only been a Rangers fan since birth, but also an avid hockey player for most of his life.
Growing up in a lake community in Northern New Jersey, John spent his entire winters - and some years they were long ones - on the lake. I'm talking his every free waking moment was on the ice. My mother-in-law said she used to literally drag him off the ice at dinnertime. All John wanted to do was shoot the puck into the net. His dream was to play for the Rangers and I'm told he's a pretty good hockey player. He was so obsessed with the Rangers that he even permed his hair back in the seventies so that he could look like Ron Duguay.
Fast forward 25 years, I am pregnant with our second child and we're trying to decide on a name for our baby. I've always liked the name Adam. After mentioning it to John, he thought about it for a moment and agreed to keep it in the running. I later found out that was because one of his all time favorite hockey players is Adam Graves #9. While we didn't end up naming our baby boy Adam, it still makes me smile thinking about how he "agreed" to consider the name.
You can only imagine my excitement when Beth received an invitation to attend the Ronald McDonald House of New York's "Skate with the Greats" event. Headlining the event were New York Ranger veterans Brian Leetch and Rod Gilbert and, wait for it...ADAM GRAVES! O-M-G! I begged Beth to please let me be her Role Mommy "correspondent" on this special assignment. As you can tell by this post, Beth sent me on my way with a Flip camera in hand.
The night was truly amazing! The event helped raise over $489,000 including a Live auction of valued sports memorabilia and Rangers experiences. The Ronald McDonald House of New York offers children battling cancer and their families shelter and support while they undergo active treatment. Ronald McDonald House of New York is supported in part by the Rangers through a partnership with the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with the Rangers and all areas of Madison Square Garden to make dreams come true for kids in crisis.
The event was generously sponsored by RBC Capital Markets, one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies and among the largest banks in the world. When I told John what we were doing a few days prior to the event, he was beyond thrilled and completely taken aback. Minutes later, he was on his phone, calling and texting every hockey/Rangers fan he knew - and trust me, that's a lot of people.
On the day of the event, I cracked up when I walked into our bedroom and saw John's clothes laid out on our bed - Adam Graves' Rangers jersey was proudly on top of the pile. Off we went to Manhattan and when we arrived, there were over 850 attendees! While we weren't sure whether we would get to meet any of the great legends, we both felt grateful to be there for such an awesome cause. It turned out to be beyond our wildest dreams! John not only got to meet many of his all-time dream players, but he even got to skate with a few of them. A smile was literally plastered on his face the entire evening. The players were all so gracious signing autographs - John alone had about five different items autographed. The event was truly incredible and ranks as one of my all-time favorite experiences with John, not because I'm a hockey fan (I barely even know the game) but because I was responsible for making one of my husband's dreams come true. It truly was a priceless moment!