The hockey game benefit pitting locked-out NHL All-Stars against each other to raise money for several charities related to the victims of Storm Sandy in the tri-state region helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall hosted hockey again this weekend, but on Saturday, it wasn't your average game on ice.
Locked out NHL All-Stars Brad Richards (NY Rangers) and Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia Flyers), in partnership with Caesars Atlantic City, presented the first “Operation Hat Trick" charity exhibition hockey game.
In fact, many locked-out hockey stars — such as the Philadelphia Flyers' Hartnell and Todd Fedoruk, Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos, Ottawa Senators' Daniel Alfredsson and New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur, among others — came together for Operation Hat Trick, a charity hockey game benefit to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Nearly 11,000 people came out for the charity game, which has been hailed as a big success by organizers, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the victims of Sandy.
"Guys already are talking about doing another one in New York,” ex-Flyers Todd Fedoruk was heard saying at a post-game party held at Dusk at Caesars," Saturday night, Nov. 24.
Operation Hat Trick, which sold out within about week of tickets going on sale, wound up with Team Richards beating Team Hartnell 10-6. But the camaraderie and spirit of coming together as one team — Team U.S.A. — was evident in the Hall on Saturday, four weeks after Sandy struck the Jersey shore.
All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Empire State Relief Fund, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the American Red Cross, aiding New York and New Jersey families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Rock and roller Sammy Hagar, whose three-year-old Sammy's Beach Bar at Bally's suffered severe damage from the storm, pledged to donate $1,000 for every goal scored during the game. Hagar said he would donate up to $10,000 "directly going" to the Empire Relief Fund, NJ Hurricane Relief Fund and American Red Cross.
“On behalf of myself and Sammy's Beach Bar and Grill, I'm proud to lend support to our neighbors and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and applaud the NHL players who'll be hittin' the ice on Saturday," Hagar said before the game.
"Making sure kids and families have food on the table has been a personal mission of mine for several years and it's through organizations like the Empire Relief Fund, NJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and the local chapters of the American Red Cross that we're gonna get that needed money into the hands of the people and families who need it to eat and rebuild their lives - right now. So, to Brad Richards, Scott Hartnell and their respective teams, 'let the games begin, guys' cause I'm gonna commit a minimum of 1k for every goal you score on each other."
While in town, some of the players visited with Sandy first responders, such as the firefighters at Atlantic City Fire Station No. 2.
Above, an Atlantic City Weekly exclusive photo: A group of players from "Operation Hat Trick" featuring NHL striking hockey players visit Atlantic City Fire Station #2 and meet with first responders. Top Row: Matt Martin, Wayne Simmons, David Clarkson. Bottom Row: PK Subban, Jody Shelley, James Van Riemsdyk and Braydon Coburn. The players tried on some of the firefighters' gear before the game on Saturday Nov. 24. (Photo by: Tom Briglia/PhotoGraphics)
Above: Atlantic City Firefighters from Station No. 2 (Indiana and Baltic avenues)
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I received more than a few calls, e-mails and Facebook messages asking why the concert was being staged at Madison Square Garden and not at Boardwalk Hall.
Hockey All-Stars Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers and Brad Richards of the New York Rangers, in partnership with Caesars Atlantic City today announced Operation Hat Trick, a charity hockey game that will take place at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7pm.
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The South Jersey shore community — along with celebs from across the country — come together for post-Sandy relief and to let folks know Atlantic City is open (and the Boardwalk) for business.
All money raised through a $10 cover charge will be divided and dispersed among two non-profit organizations — the Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center and the Ocean City Repertory Theatre — each of which was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
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