Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

Skating For Sandy

On Saturday night, I traveled to Atlantic City with my family to watch Operation Hat Trick, a charity hockey game created in order to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Hockey all-stars Scott Hartnell from the Philadelphia Flyers and Brad Richards from the New York Rangers teamed up with Caesar’s Atlantic City to sponsor the event held at the Boardwalk Convention Center. The proceeds raised from the event were donated to the Empire State Relief Fund, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the American Red Cross.

Hartnell and Richards were the captains of each team that featured players from the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche among many others. The sellout crowd of over 10,000 watched goalies Martin Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist battle for the first time all hockey season. Lundqvist had 57 saves with his team winning 10 to 6. The event showcased several talented NHL players who put their rivalries aside to raise money for an important cause.

While the main and most important goal of the event was to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims, Operation Hat Trick generated conversation about the NHL. Currently, the NHL is in a lockout because players and owners cannot reach an agreement over salaries. On Saturday night, there were hundreds of tweets about the charity game. Teams tweeted live updates about their players and game attendees sent pictures and videos to Twitter. Fans generated positive dialogues about the event that hopefully captured the attention of players and NHL officials. There was even a “We Want Hockey” chant started throughout the arena during the game.

Operation Hat Trick had both positive and negative public relations implications. On one hand, the event showed how the game of hockey can be used to raise money for a good cause. It gave hockey superstars an opportunity to give back while playing a sport they love. On the other hand, holding such an event reminded hockey fans everywhere of what they are missing. The game could be seen as a catalyst that sparked angry fans to voice their opinions and possibly boycott the sport if and when it does return. There is a rumor circulating saying that the NHL told NBC not to broadcast the game. We will see if that holds true.

It was both amazing and inspiring to see the NHL players put aside their differences and play for a good cause. If players could put aside such rivalries, I wonder why they can reach a mutual agreement in order to have a NHL season. Based off of the tweets from this weekend, hockey fans are dying for their sport to come back. Hopefully, they can settle this dispute soon so we can have somewhat of a hockey season.

Motivation Mondays: The Show Must Go On

Relief efforts in Staten Island

On Friday, I wrote about Hurricane Sandy and the crisis communication lessons learned from the super storm. On this Motivation Monday, I’d like to use my blog post to think about the next step: moving forward.

It’s hard believe a mere week ago everything was normal. Houses stood, people filled the streets and we thought we were prepared. Today, life is completely different. Places like the Jersey Shore and Staten Island will never be the same. So many have lost everything and are now homeless. The pictures are devastating and the stories make you shake your head in disbelief. Of course, the biggest question now is what’s next?

If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty going back to your normal routine, wishing you could be doing more. However, starting to get things back to normal is one of the best things people can do. By going to work or school, we are showing that this storm did not beat us; that we are starting to rebuild our lives. Slowly, lives are returning to normal with electricity being restored, roads reopening and public transportation restarting service.

For many, life as they know it will never be the same. Yesterday, I spent the day in Staten Island, a place where both my parents grew up. I still have many family members on the island too. Houses are gone with families’ belongings in the streets. Yet, people were so grateful for such simple things like garbage bags or bottled water. It was truly the most humbling experience of my life.

It is certainly hard to move on and not think about everything that has happened, especially when so many are still in clean-up mode. But trying to return things to a state of normalcy will benefit everyone. If nothing else, we all should be grateful that we still have jobs and schools to go to. This great tragedy should remind everyone how precious life really is.

I urge everyone to make a donation or go volunteer. There are several places in New Jersey and New York that need manpower, among other things. For more specific ways to help the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, click here.

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