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Building a Foundation of Hope

Wednesday, 01.31.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Building a Foundation of Hope

January 31, 2006
by Brian Wheeler

There is no time like the present. That's the attitude Ryan Miller learned to take and it's one that he wants to spread throughout Western New York.

After witnessing first-hand the monotonous, tedious and painful treatments for cancer patients, Miller created a charitable foundation that will benefit children with various illnesses around the Buffalo and East Lansing, Mich. areas.

Miller established the Steadfast Foundation with two main missions in mind. Raising money to help fund the establishment of specialty rooms in hospitals where children can escape the pain and discomfort of their treatments and raising awareness and increasing awareness for the need for heightened community involvement.

"I've been visiting hospitals for a while, but I felt there was something else I could do," he said. "A lot of people are excited about hockey right now. Obviously, you want to use your influence to do something good.

"You have to do whatever it takes to help the kids fight a battle. When you are diagnosed with a disease like that, it's a battle for your life."

In 2005, his cousin, Matt Schoals, 17, was diagnosed with leukemia. Since that day, Miller has taken a person charge to help anyone battling the disease. Building a foundation from the ground up was the next logical progression once he became a professional hockey player.

"I know from talking to my cousin that's the one thing, you just sit in your room," said Miller. "That can get pretty boring no matter how the walls are painted or how many channels they get. Kids need a chance to be social and a place where everyone can meet-up, when they feel up to it, and interact, watch a movie, play some music or just be creative.

"Our approach is that we're just going to compliment the medical side with the mental side. We want to do things that really make it fun to be a kid, whether they are in a hospital or not."

With help from a friend in Rochester, Miller and the Steadfast Foundation will hold its inaugural fundraiser on February 13, 2007. "Catwalk for Charity" combines some of Miller's passions off the ice into a single event with a good cause. Add to the mix his Buffalo teammates modeling Hugo Boss menswear in the in the Asbury Hall at The Church - Ani DiFranco’s venue on Delaware and Tupper in Buffalo - and it's sure to be an entertaining time. Strictly Hip and Jennifer Heieck are scheduled to perform.

Tickets for the 21 and older event are priced at $175 each and can be purchased by calling 204-1212, Ext. 206.

"The first thing that popped into my mind was that I like music and I'm pretty into fashion, so I wanted to combine the two and have a good time," said Miller. " I want to be a part of the Buffalo community. I have a chance to be here a while and I really want to kick it off on the right foot.

"Last year was more of a feeling out process for me. I was more worried about hockey. This year, Buffalo has become my home away from home.

While funding for his vision is important and initial talks with local hospitals have begun, Miller's hope is that the event has a far-reaching effect.

"We want to encourage people to do something good with their time," said Miller. "It doesn't have to be my interests, which fall more along the lines of childhood diseases and cancer. Its just encouraging people to interact more in the community.

"Go from watching TV five nights a week to just four nights. You're going to feel better about yourself."

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82