Sabres’ star Ryan Miller gets own cereal for good cause
Ryan Miller wants to have breakfast with you – sort of – for charity.
Miller has always been gracious with his time, whether breaking down the NHL’s goaltending equipment changes by email for InGoal Magazine, or with his work with various good causes. It’s for the latter that Buffalo’s Vezina Trophy-winning goalie has lent his mask-clad mug to the front of a cereal box.
‘Kick-Save Krunch,’ a honey nut toasted oat cereal, will be sold in upstate New York, with partial proceeds to benefit the Steadfast Foundation, a non-profit that Miller started to help children and their families affected by cancer.
The cereal is produced by PLB Sports, the company behind ‘Flutie Flakes’ during Doug Flutie’s heyday as a Bills quarterback, ‘T.O.’s’ during Terrell Owens stint in Buffalo, as well as numerous other athlete-endorsed food products.
“Flutie Flakes, and Terrell Owens had cereal here, so we’re in good company in that regard,” Miller said at a press conference, adding he had some influence in making sure it was healthy. “It’s a lot of fun to have an opportunity like this to do something creative to raise more awareness for the Steadfast Foundation and do it in a fun way where we feel like it’s a good influence on kids.”
As for the name of his cereal, ‘Kick-Save’ may not accurately describe Miller’s modern puck-stopping style, but ‘Butterfly Breakfast’ doesn’t really work.
“I thought it was catchy, that’s what we’re going for,” Miller said. “Something just to have fun with the hockey goaltending element.”
For those not living in New York, ‘Kick-Save Krunch’ is also available online from PLB. But that isn’t the only part of Miller’s fundraising initiative.
In addition to a photographable barcode that can be redeemed for an electronic trading card featuring Miller, the cereal box features a promotion for a Miller-inspired hat from New Era.
Miller’s new lid is based on the Ray Bishop-painted mask he wore while leading America’s silver-medal run at the 2010 Olympics. (It’s also painted on a mask made by fellow Michigan native Gary Warwick, and InGoal readers can win a Warwick mask and custom paint in our Pro Custom Mask Giveaway).
“There’s only one mask and I’m keeping it,” Miller joked, “So this is a chance for fans to have a little bit of that. The big thing that fans reacted to was Uncle Sam on the side based on propaganda poster in first World War and used in the second World War. Fans just loved it so we took that element and put it on the hat and mixed some really cool elements onto the hat from the mask.”
Among those elements are the words “Matt Man” on the back of both the mask and the hat, a tribute to Miller’s cousin Matt Schoals, who was 18 when he lost a two-year battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Schoals’ fight, and seeing what he went through, was one reason Miller started the Steadfast Foundation.
Now, through fundraising efforts like the cereal, hat and an annual fashion show in Buffalo, Steadfast works with medical professionals in Michigan and Western New York to help maintain quality of life for kids during their cancer fights.
“We’re taking a unique approach to help kids and families afflicted with cancer through psycho-social program that can compliment the medicine,” Miller said during the press conference in Buffalo. “We give the kids the environment, help bring some normalcy to them.”
Now Miller is using the brighter spotlight created by his Vezina season with the Sabres – and moreso his Olympic success – to spread the word and raise money.
“I’m definitely trying to tailor to something I feel is important,” he said.