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Birthday Surprise
shannonkahn wrote in pandaguymemoria
I knew Jon for many years, going back to 1998. But one moment of ours stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Back in 2000, I was working for the Hershey Bears as "Coco". About a week before one of our December home games, I got a call from a friend in the Philadelphia area, asking about tickets. So I gave her the phone number for the team ticket office, and told her I'd leave a couple of freebies for her at the gate.

Game night rolled around, and I was doing my normal routine around the arena - down between the benches for the lineup and anthem, then work a corner of the stands til the end of the period. Between the 1st and 2nd periods, I took a golf cart onto the ice with a t-shirt slingshot. As I made the turn for the south end of the arena, I looked to the upper deck and saw spelled out in single-letter cards, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SK-1!"

During the next period I went up to that section and discovered the said friend and Jon were in cahoots all along. They organized a road trip for about two dozen of my friends from the DC area to see the game that night.

For someone who doesn't make a big deal about his birthday or celebrating it, I couldn't have asked for a better surprise. Thank you, Jon.