For 62 Islanders fans, Sunday night was an experience they’ll never forget.
After taking part in the first annual Islanders Sticks and Steaks online auction, the winning bidders earned an exclusive four-course meal with the entire Islanders team—including GM Garth Snow and Head Coach Scott Gordon. Contributions from the auction totaled $20,000, with proceeds going to the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
"Tonight was a great event," said Islanders Captain Bill Guerin. "Everyone on our team is on board to attend events like these that raise money for the Islanders Children’s Foundation. The entire team and all the fans that attended enjoyed themselves."
Set at Rothmann’s Steakhouse in East Norwich, the players and fans began the evening with a cocktail hour, which gave all winners a chance to mingle with the team and receive autographs.
"I really liked getting the players’ autographs," said Jon, a young fan whose father was one of the three winners to sit with Rick DiPietro
. "We got to meet everyone."
Following the cocktail hour, each winner––and their guest––settled down at a table with the player they bid on during the auction. It was an opportunity to share stories and learn a little bit more about one of the Islanders they’ve watched throughout the season on the ice. Some players, like DiPietro, had multiple winning bids.
"Rick is my idol," said nine-year-old Anthony from Brookville, who sat with the goaltender along with his father and the other winners. "I am sitting with Ricky because he is a goalie and I am a goalie for the Long Island Gulls."
While much of the dinner was highlighted by intimate settings between the players and the fans at their tables, some of the younger fans roamed from table to table to get any remaining autographs they missed during the cocktail hour.
"I was really excited to meet everyone today, including Bill Guerin and Richard Park because they are my favorites," said Erin from Rockville Center, who sat with her dad at Joey MacDonald’s table.
Garth Snow spoke during the meal, thanking everyone for their contributions and expressing the delight the entire team has in taking part in this event over the past few seasons.
"Both myself and my wife enjoyed the Sticks and Steaks event," added Freddy Meyer. "We both attended the event two years ago and we were happy to be able to attend once more. We look forward to this being an annual event." Check out an IslandersTV preview of a "Dinner & A Dynasty," now on sale at the Islanders Team Stores in the Sunrise Mall and Broadway Mall.