One of the most rewarding things I've done as part of my internship happened tonight.  I was able to assist with the Zamboni ride promotion.  The Pittsburgh Penguins host active duty servicemen and women for the game.  During the intermissions, these men and women are given the opportunity to ride the Zamboni machine while it cleans the ice.  It is a small gesture but it is always nice to do something for the men and women that sacrifice so much for the rest of us.

Tonight MP Brandon Doyle and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Graham were seated in the upper bowl of the arena.  Sitting in this section allows them to bring family and friends along with them to the game if they so choose.  Myself and another intern were told exactly where Jonathan and Brandon would be seated.  We went up to their section with plenty of time to spare before the intermission so that we could explain to them exactly what would happen and to escort them down to the ice.  The servicemen and women know that they'll be riding the Zamboni ahead of time so it's not as if we're surprising them.

We had no trouble locating Jonathan but there was a problem.  Brandon was not seated where we were told he was going to be.  Uh oh.  Time was winding down in the period.  I would feel horrible if someone missed their opportunity to ride the Zamboni at a Pittsburgh Penguins game!  Jonathan and the other intern headed down to the ice.  I stayed up top to see if I could figure out where Brandon was.  This is where cell phones sure do come in handy.  I contacted Julie Klausner who is one of the people in charge of promotions with the Penguins.  I was trying to explain to her the problem but there was just one problem.  At that moment the Penguins scored the go-ahead goal.  The entire arena went completely nuts.  I couldn't hear a thing.  I walked as far away from the crowd as I could but it was still deafening. 

Fortunately after a minute or two I was able to understand Julie again.  There had been some miscommunication regarding where Brandon was seated.  I immediately headed to the correct section (which fortunately was not far away) and before I even got there I saw an usher standing with a gentleman and pointing at me.  On game nights I stick out in the crowd a little bit because I have on a suit and tie.  Most fans don't show up in their Sunday best.

I felt very relieved to find Brandon.  He and I immediately headed for the elevator so that we could get to the ice.  I took several pictures of Brandon and Jonathan getting ready to head out to the ice on the Zamboni machine.
Below is some footage that I shot with my iPhone.  This one shows the Zamboni machines, with their passengers, headed out to the ice.
These next two YouTube videos show Brandon and Jonathan riding around on the ice.  Brandon is shooting a little footage with his phone too.  While they're riding around they're introduced to the crowd which gives them an ovation.  Again, it's a small gesture but a nice way to recognize servicemen and women.  Incidentally this is the closest I get to the ice during a game too, even though the game isn't going on.
And here are the last two which show Brandon and Jonathan returning from the ice.  Jonathan is greeted by his parents who get a picture with the Zamboni.  As Brandon returns I commend him for not falling off during his ride!
After the Zamboni ride was over we escorted these two young men back to their seats.  Brandon told me he had just returned from a deployment in Korea.  He's a long time Penguins fan and was thrilled to be able to see a playoff game.  I thanked him for his service and said good bye.  It may not seem like a big deal but I couldn't be prouder to have done something for someone that really, really deserves our thanks.  I can only hope that there will be more opportunities like this one in the future.

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