During his visit to the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game, Vinnie transforms. He sheds his usual quiet reserve … and his newly discovered verve brings joy to his parents.
It’s Vinnie’s first time in Ottawa. He makes the most of the experience; he’s envisioned it every day since he told Make-A-Wish® volunteers that his one true wish is to see the NHL All-Star Game.
Vinnie and his family start their weekend with an ice-skating session at Rideau Canal – the world’s longest skating rink. They explore NHL exhibits and functions throughout the city.
Then Vinnie gets a surprise at Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators: James Duthie, NHL host for TSN in Canada, escorts Vinnie to meet several players, coaches and hockey personalities. He even tries on a Stanley Cup ring. By the time he returns to his seat to watch the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitionTM, Vinnie shakes with excitement.
Vinnie is back at Scotiabank Place the next day for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game. Before the game, Vinnie visits the All-Star team dressing rooms. There, he meets his favorite player, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. Kane presents Vinnie with a signed stick, t-shirt and hat, prized possessions he will savor for a lifetime.
Then, it’s game time. In his seats, donated by the NHL, Vinnie’s eyes stay glued to the ice as the best NHL hockey players skate, shoot, check and save. He’s fixated, silent, deep in concentration as the spectacle unfolds.
As he watches, Vinnie receives another gift – compliments of John Tortorella, coach of the New York Rangers. It’s a stick signed by Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos. Coach Tortorella heard about Vinnie, and wanted to give him something special. It’s proof that a Make-A-Wish® experience not only touches the lives of the wish kids, but everyone else involved.
To Kane, Tortorella and Stamkos, the sticks and memorabilia are gifts for a courageous new friend. To Vinnie, they’re prizes from real-world superheroes – each with the power to replenish him with strength and immense bravery for the tomorrows ahead.