BUFFALO, NY - For the past week the Buffalo Sabres have been conducting their Community Assist program that honors individuals and agencies, which have inspired others.
The team was planning to wrap up this year's effort at the First Niagara Center by honoring the memory of a very special fan.
"When we were looking for different opportunities for Sabres Community Assist, we kept kind of coming back to Rowan," said Rich Jureller, Director of Community Relations for the team.
Jureller was speaking of Rowan Langille of St. Catharines Ontario, who in 2010 at the age of 18 months, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Last year, the Sabres brought Rowan and his family to Buffalo, for a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which happened to be Rowan's favorite team, and helped arrange for his to meet his idol, NHL All Star Sydney Crosby.
Rowan died this past summer at the age of four, which saddened the Sabres and the Southern Ontario community that had rallied to aid the boy in his struggle.
To honor his memory, the Sabres invited twenty of Rowan's family and friends to attend their home game against the Boston Bruins.
"It was unexpected and we are very appreciative," said Shawn Langille, Rowan's father.
Besides being treated to a game, the Langilles will be recognized by the Sabres before a near capacity crowd, who will also be able to watch a special tribute to Rowan on the arena scoreboard.
"Knowing the story and knowing how special he was and the impact and the inspiration Rowan made for a lot of people, we felt it was just the right thing to do to honor his memory," Jureller said.