Garden of Dreams Week: December 2021
Our annual “Garden of Dreams Week” took place between December 14th and December 21st, 2021, and did not disappoint.
We kicked off the week with a virtual hospital visit at our Garden of Dreams partner, NYU Children’s Hospital, with the iconic Radio City Rockettes! The next day, Carina from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital had her dream come true when she attended Christmas Spectacular with her family and also had the opportunity to meet the Rockettes – her idols!
That Friday, New York Rangers welcomed over 50 Garden of Dreams young people and their families to Garden of Dreams Night on December 17th. The night began with a pregame show set featuring a special GDF guest reporter, Matthew. Throughout the game, our young people participated in special experiences such as the ceremonial puck drop by Franco, Anthony and Kyle singing of the national anthem, and guest musician Nayja rocking the venue. Youth from Garden of Dreams partner Department of Homeless Services participated in pregame ceremonies, including the “High Five Line,” “honorary Blue Crew” festivities and Zamboni rides. Concluding a truly memorable Garden of Dreams Night was an MSG Networks interview by our very own Terry Fontanillas. There’s nothing better than having our Garden of Dreams young people bring their talents and spirit to the arena!
Then, December 21st, 2021 was Garden of Dreams Night at the New York Knicks game! Our star young people came to shine across various in-arena elements of game night. Mailyn kicked us off with her game ball delivery before Matthew read the matchup announcement and Maya performed the national anthem. Kai showed off her moves as the “honorary Knicks City Dancer,” while Kyle was called into the lineup as the “honorary Knick.” There was no shortage of good tunes, with James playing the Garden as our honorary musician and Miles and Tyrese bringing down the house with their halftime performances! Robert, Lenyer and Lewis gave the crowd an energy boost as honorary members of the “7th Avenue Squad.”
The big surprise of the night went to Arainah and Rosa, who had been invited to the game via video message from current player RJ Barrett during a holiday shopping spree with Knicks legend John Starks on December 16th. The two young people from Garden of Dreams partner Harlem Dowling, along with their families, were presented with an all-inclusive vacation to Walt Disney World! It was an unforgettable evening all around.
Of course, the holiday shopping spirit was shared by the Rangers, too! Current player Chris Kreider and Rangers alumnus Tom Laidlaw teamed up to provide a special virtual surprise for a longtime Garden of Dreams family. After a tough year, Kreider knew the perfect way to brighten the holidays. Watch here to see the joy of the season come to life!
Finally, early December also saw us close out a successful “Adopt-A-Family” program at Garden of Dreams. Between Madison Square Garden employees and supporters across New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, we provided families in need with over 1,650 items just before the holidays. Cheers to an incredible season!