2018 Face Off to Fight Cancer Hockey Event

October 22 2018

NEW YORK -- (From www.NHL.com) George Parros was more than willing to spend his Sunday playing hockey.

Parros, a former NHL forward and head of NHL Department of Player Safety, joined seven other ex-NHL players and actor Taylor Kitsch to play alongside police officers from New York and New Jersey for the Face Off to Fight Pediatric Cancer charity hockey game at Chelsea Piers that benefited Ronald McDonald House New York.

"These guys lay it on the line for all of us," Parros said. "I'm more than happy to spend an afternoon raising funds and taking care of guys who take care of us."

Parros joined former New Jersey Devils defenseman Ken Daneyko and forwards Sergei Brylin and Grant Marshall to play alongside New Jersey police officers against the NYPD team, which included Kitsch and Commissioner James O'Neill, along with former New York Rangers forwards Colton Orr, Christopher Higgins and Brian Mullen.

The former NHL players used the event to help raise money, but the stakes were higher for the officers.

"I've been in a couple of these types of games, and they do tend to be more intense than usual charity games," Parros said. "These guys have a lot of pride, and who knows if they've got side bets going on, so you never know what the intensity level is going to be like. But it is usually ticked up in these games."

After the game, the officers met up for a reception. Actors Liam Neeson and Malik Yoba were in attendance to help support the cause. 

The event is the brainchild of Meagan Celeste, the founder of MDC Productions, which connects individuals, businesses and charitable organizations with a common vision and directs their passion for helping each other. Celeste grew up a Devils fan in Central New Jersey, where her father worked more than 25 years in law enforcement. She also plays hockey and is the only female in her Newark, New Jersey-based league.

The game combines Celeste's passion for hockey with her support for law enforcement and also raises money for Ronald McDonald House New York, a children's charity that provides accommodations for families of hospitalized children.

"I play with a lot of officers so I said, 'Why don't we do something that is the perfect marriage of my love of hockey and my support of law enforcement,' " Celeste said. "I thought this was a good opportunity for people to see what I see, which is that at the end of a long day, they're still willing to go out and fundraise."

The support and willingness from the New York hockey community, specifically the Devils and Rangers, left Celeste overwhelmed.

"This sport is so unique," Celeste said. "It's like a family."

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