The New York Rangers have made a donation to the physical education department at P.S. 83 that will have students playing hockey in gym class and after-school programs, as well as during the summer.
A representative from Madison Square Garden, the Rangers’ parent company, was on hand for the donation of hockey gear including hockey sticks, nets, chest protectors, knee pads, gloves, water bottles and blue and white Rangers t-shirts on behalf of the New York Rangers as part of their outreach to community schools on Tuesday, February 24.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca was instrumental in securing the equipment from the New York Rangers, through a hockey development program for youth called Rangers 101.
“When I heard of this opportunity being offered by the New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden, I jumped at the opportunity,” Vacca said. “I said to myself this is a great opportunity for kids to learn hockey.”
Vacca, who funds after-school and summer programming for kids at the school, personally visited the Brenda Mixon’s fifth grade physical education class as they began to better learn the fundamentals of the game and celebrate the acquisition of the new equipment.
“We have played hockey before, but the children have absolutely gotten into the experience,” said Mixon, who is also a Morris Park resident. “I have been able to teach them how to play positions.”
The after-school program and also the summer program at the school are both expected to make good use of the equipment, Mixon said, adding that the older kids were jealous that the younger kids got to use it first.
“We are very grateful to Mr. Vacca to nominate our school, and we are fortunate that the Rangers have shown up with this equipment,” Mixon said. “It will be very well used. When the warmer weather comes, we are planning on having a tournament outside in school yard. This is wonderful and the kids absolutely love it. They are playing very well and understand the rules.”
This is the first time that Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers have funded a donation of equipment or provided programing to a school in his district, Vacca said, adding that he hopes that it will happen again at other schools.
“I heard that the Rangers would assist in getting the hockey program off the ground, and I thought of P.S. 83 because I thought that the children would like it,” Vacca said.
The equipment should also help fill a void in the Morris Park community, which used to have a hockey program in Loreto Park years ago, Mixon stated.
©2012 Community News Group