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Monsters Partner with Michael Symon and a Special Wish for National Cookie Day

November 30, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Cleveland Monsters News Release

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Monsters are proud to join Michael Symon, Ryan Kuchta and A Special Wish Foundation to present National Cookie Day on Saturday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. when the Milwaukee Admirals visit Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The night will contain many special pieces with proceeds benefitting A Special Wish Foundation including a limited edition cookie created by Ryan and Michael that will be sold on the concourse. Fans can secure their seats for National Cookie Day here.

To fit the theme of the night, the Monsters will wear specialty cookie themed jerseys as they take on the Admirals. The Monsters player jerseys will be available for auction through the DASH platform and the Monsters Mobile App from 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 3, until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4. Proceeds from the jerseys will also benefit A Special Wish Foundation.

"We are so excited to have Ryan working with our team along with Michael Symon and the entire staff from A Special Wish," said Monsters Senior Director of Communications and Marketing Ben Adams. "Between the jerseys and our special edition cookies, there are so many pieces going into the night that will make it a game to remember. We have been lucky to be able to watch Ryan grow since first meeting him and see how much he uses his own experiences to help others."

Fans will remember Ryan as the young local goalie that was signed to a one-day contract with the Monsters on April 9, 2019, in partnership with A Special Wish Foundation. Ryan was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma at the age of 12 and was encouraged by doctors to approach his battle with cancer like a game of hockey, and thus Ryan's "Hockey Strong" mindset was born.

"Teaming up with Cleveland Monsters and Michael Symon to support A Special Wish Foundation has been such an awesome experience," said Ryan. "A Special Wish and the Monsters helped me through my difficult battle with cancer and I am grateful for this opportunity to join forces with them and Chef Symon to raise funds to grant wishes for other kids fighting a life-threatening illness."

More than two years later, Ryan is cancer free and teamed up with the Monsters to give back to A Special Wish Foundation so they can continue to grant the wishes of children like him. Ryan worked closely with Monsters designers to create a handmade "Hockey Strong" design that will be on t-shirts and hoodies available through the Monsters Team Shop with all proceeds benefitting A Special Wish Foundation. More information on how the "Hockey Strong" design came together can be found here.

"Through A Special Wish Cleveland's When I Grow Up program, Ryan experienced firsthand how impactful these events are for children battling life-threatening illnesses. When Ryan became a Cleveland Monsters hockey player for the day in 2019, the team gave him the nickname "Cookie" and it stuck," said A Special Wish Foundations Marketing and Events Manager Robin Carpenter. "This experience lifted Ryan's spirits during a tough time which is why he approached A Special Wish with his new goal to help grant wishes for other children battling life-threatening illnesses. To see one of our very own Wish Kids set this goal, brainstorm a plan, partner with Michael Symon to perfect a cookie recipe, and design merch in collaboration with Monsters Retail designers is incredibly inspiring! To us it proves that you can never be too young to make a difference in the community. We are so proud of Ryan and look forward to granting Big Wishes with the funds raised on December 4."

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