Antoinette Figueroa sends in this story of when the Rangers were in Staten Island a few weeks ago.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy all I can do is sit in my house on Staten Island and think about the devastation that so many face and how I can give back to my community. I started by donating to the local charities and going to the hardest hit areas to deliver bottles and bottles of water to the people who have nothing. I decided to start raising money on my own so that I could feed those people and after tweeting to some of the Rangers players and writers I started to receive anonymous donations which in my heart I believe came from them.
With the donations I received I was able to set up a huge barbeque right in the middle of the hardest hit areas and at the very least provide a hot meal. I then saw that Brad Richards had organized a hockey clinic for kids around the corner from my house. I saw later on that Richards sent out a tweet about bartending at a bar in my old neighborhood. I jumped in the car and when I got there I expected to see Richards in a suit, leaving and not getting a chance to thank him for the great work he was doing. What I found though was the complete opposite! I walked in and saw Gabby, Hags and Emmy behind the bar pouring drinks. Eminger was pouring one for my dad but he didn’t know what he was doing so he just gave him a beer!
As I made my way through a tent I hear cheers for “Cally” and to my utter amusement it was actually Ryan Callahan. He was yelling “Cally” to my dad who was wearing his jersey! I can’t even describe the atmosphere as Richards, Cally and Girardi seemed like regular guys in a regular bar on a Friday night.
They were hard to get close to, as the place was packed, but once you could they were willing to chat, take pictures and just be real. At one point Cally started his own “asshole” chant to a women that walked in wearing a Devils jersey. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing! All those angry anti-lockout feelings immediately disappeared and I truly realized what special people hockey players really are! This was the Rangers players as real as it gets and they were helping people out of the goodness of their heart. I heard that they raised $30,000 that night and because of that, hockey or no hockey, they will always have my utmost respect.