In honor of the late Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers have today announced plans for a program that would see the team give two annual scholarships to children from the Defending The Blue Line charity to the Rangers’ Summer Youth Hockey Camp each year.
Boogaard, as well all know, was a big supporter of Defending The Blue Line up until his death earlier this year. The program, coming so soon after the presence of Derek’s brother Aaron at the podium during last month’s Entry Draft, is another great gesture from the organisation and one that should without question make fans extremely proud of the Rangers. Defending The Blue Line meant so much to Derek and this move represents another effort to honor his legacy both now and in the future.
Here’s the official press release on the program:
NEW YORK, July 13, 2011 – To honor the legacy of former Rangers left wing Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers have announced that they will present two scholarships annually for Rangers Summer Youth Hockey Camp to children from the Defending the Blue Line program. Defending the Blue Line is a nonprofit organization created by soldiers with the goal of making hockey accessible to children of our nation’s military heroes, a program Derek supported wholeheartedly throughout his hockey career. Throughout the 2010-11 Season, Boogaard donated four seats at every Rangers home game for military families to attend as part of a group which he dubbed “Boogaard’s Boogaardians.”
This year’s scholarship recipients are two 8-year old boys from New York City who each have family members currently serving in the military. The boys will be attending the week-long camp from July 18-22 at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, NY. Current Blueshirt center Derek Stepan, also an advocate of Defending the Blue Line, and defenseman Michael Sauer will be visiting the camp on Friday, July 22nd.
Rangers Youth Hockey Camp provides children with top-level hockey instruction with a focus on team participation and personal development. The Derek Boogaard Youth Hockey Scholarship will be awarded annually to honor Boogaard’s memory and continue the Rangers mission to help grow the game of hockey by making it accessible to all.