The Rangers step up in support of veteran hockey writer Ira Podell.
The Rangers made the grandest of classy gestures on Friday.
The team donated $ 5,000 to the GoFundMe.com fundraiser account raising money for Associated Press sports writer Ira Podell, a beloved mainstay on Garden press row until last spring when a brain tumor, surgery and subsequent stroke left him fighting for his life.
“I was sitting with Ira when the Rangers donation came through, and we were both blown away and so thankful,” Helene Podell Raush, Ira’s sister, told the Daily News in an email. “Thanks to everyone for all of their support.”
The NHL Players’ Association also donated $ 2,000 with the message: “The players and staff of the NHLPA are thinking about you Ira and wishing you all the best in your recovery.”
Podell’s family had set a goal of $ 30,000 on Sunday when they set up the GoFundMe account, hoping to raise enough money to install special facilities for Podell to live and receive care at home. He currently is at a South Jersey facility where the family says Podell is “moving in the right direction” but progress is “so hard to recognize … since (it) occurs so slowly.”
But thanks to the Rangers, NHLPA and heavy support from Podell’s fellow members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and friends, donations had eclipsed $ 36,000 as of 8 p.m. Friday and were continuing to climb.
“This is all simply amazing,” Helene Podell Raush wrote. “We are overwhelmed from all of the support we received. We never could have dreamed that we would receive anything close to this. We are beyond thankful.”
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