SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Families from Make-A-Wish Massachusetts & Rhode Island were invited to the MassMutual Center Wednesday for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, and a meet-and-greet with Springfield Thunderbirds captain, Tommy Cross and other players.

Since the start of the 2022-23 season, Thunderbirds players, staff, and mascot “Boomer” have made over 200 appearances at charitable causes and local events. The mission of the organization remains rooted in being pillars of the Greater Springfield community.

“We’re so appreciative of our partners, the Springfield Thunderbirds, for providing meaningful experiences to our Wish Community,” said Peg Wheble, West Springfield Regional Director for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. “The wish journey doesn’t end after the wish has been granted, and for these children to continue to have special moments of hope and joy is so important to their mental, emotional, and physical health.”

Members of the Make-A-Wish community, those who have had a wish granted, and their families will be invited back to the MassMutual Center for the Thunderbirds game on Friday, April 14 for ‘Make-A-Wish Night’, which will include numerous in-game experiences, from high-fiving T-Birds players in the tunnel to holding a flag during the pregame ceremonies on the ice.

“We are so proud to be able to partner with Make-A-Wish to provide this one-of-a-kind experience to these young people who have had to face unimaginable obstacles in their lives,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “Our mission is all about creating lifelong memories, and for these children and families to be able to share this experience together brings a smile to our entire organization.”