ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – “Unfortunately, this morning our organization lost a close friend, a beautiful little girl who gave us a huge smile and shared her wonderful heart. We ask that you stand with us now in a moment of silence as we recognize the passing of 11-year-old Arianna Dougan. Her spirit will remain with us all.”
That’s how St. Louis Blues public address announcer Tom Calhoun began pregame ceremonies Saturday night at Scottrade Center prior to the Blues vs. Islanders game.
Ari died of cancer Saturday morning after leaving a lasting impression on Blues player Vladimir Tarasenko, his teammates, and team staffers over the past year.
Those staffers include radio play-by-play announcer Chris Kerber, who had this to say following the game, “It doesn’t seem fair when a sickness, an illness takes a child like it took Arianna. But, in just a short time, she was an amazing shining light. Anybody around her felt that spirit. You felt energized. You didn’t see a child with a sickness. You saw a child with an outlook that was one to put in the memory banks and keep with you for life.”
There’s now an online petition started by the “We All Bleed Blue Fan Group” to get a banner hoisted above the Scottrade Center ice in Ari’s honor.