New York, March 16, 2012– The Garden of Dreams Foundation announced today that Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the recipient of the 2012 Garden of Dreams Hero Award. The award, established in 2009, honors one person or organization annually who embodies the spirit and commitment of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, with active, on-going dedication to children facing obstacles.
The Garden of Dreams Hero engages in personal, sustained support of, or involvement in organizations and activities that directly enhance the lives of children and their families, while serving as a driving force and inspiration for others. Lundqvist has exemplified this throughout his work with Garden of Dreams, particularly this season.
After being named the official spokesperson of the Garden of Dreams Foundation in 2009, the three-time NHL All Star has worked diligently to help fulfill The Foundation’s mission to “make dreams come true for children facing obstacles”. In the past six months alone, Lundqvist has granted a special “wish” for a young cancer patient whose dream was to meet him, hosted a group of children for a special afternoon at Radio City to watch the Christmas Spectacular, participated in a team 9/11 memorial event for police and firehouses in the city, and donated game tickets for Garden of Dreams families.
In addition, this past January, Lundqvist commissioned an extra mask for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which raised $35,000 for Garden of Dreams. Later that month, Lundqvist unveiled “The Crown Collection,” a line of specialty t-shirts and hats available at The Garden, with proceeds from the sale benefiting the Foundation. Then in February, Lundqvist hosted the first-ever “Rock of Dreams” private benefit concert, with his band “Noise Upstairs,” at the Canal Room. With bandmate John McEnroe joining him on the stage and almost the entire Rangers team in attendance, Lundqvist raised over $48,000 for Garden of Dreams. This season alone, Lundqvist’s charitable efforts with the Foundation has totaled more than $100,000.
“All of us at The Madison Square Garden Company recognize that our work with the Garden of Dreams Foundation is perhaps the most meaningful thing we do - and no one has been more consistent or sincere in his commitment to the children of Garden of Dreams than Henrik Lundqvist,” said Hank Ratner, President & CEO, The Madison Square Garden Company and Chairman of the Board, Garden of Dreams Foundation. “Our goal is to brighten the lives of children facing enormous obstacles, through access to our athletes, entertainers and events, and to do that we rely on the dedication of leaders within the Garden community. Henrik epitomizes what Garden of Dreams stands for and is the perfect example of a world-class athlete who truly cares about helping others. We’re very proud to honor him with the 2012 Garden of Dreams Hero Award.”
Past recipients of the Garden of Dreams Hero Award include tennis legend Andre Agassi and Rangers great Adam Graves.
"I am extremely honored to have been chosen for this award,” said Lundqvist. “Garden of Dreams is an amazing organization that I have been lucky enough to be a part of for many years now. I look forward to continuing and expanding my involvement with the Foundation and creating more life-long memories with our deserving kids.”
Garden of Dreams works closely with all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company, including the New York Rangers, Knicks, Liberty, MSG Media, MSG Entertainment and Fuse. Since its inception in 2006, Garden of Dreams has created unique and unforgettable events and activities - often involving unprecedented access to MSG celebrities and athletes at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the MSG Training Center, Fuse and the Beacon Theatre - for more than 200,000 tri-state area children. Nearly 175,000 tickets have been donated to organizations served by Garden of Dreams and more than 2,300 special events have been designed for children and families.
Garden of Dreams strives to be heroic, inspirational and unforgettable – all attributes of the children the Foundation has had the privilege to meet over the course of its history. Partnering with a diverse collection of outstanding children’s related organizations, including hospitals, foster organizations, homeless shelters and “wish” organizations, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has a singular goal each and every day – to utilize the power and magic of Madison Square Garden and its properties to bring joy and happiness to children facing devastating problems – whether they relate to illness, homelessness, poverty, foster care issues or tragedy.