Every season the New York Islanders are involved in several community initiatives and 2007-08 is no different. In fact, this year the Islanders are engaged with more programs than ever before. They all have the same goal and that is to give back to Long Island.
Here's a run through of the programs the Islanders are involved with and how you can help.
This past summer, RexCorp Islanders Inspire
debuted. It is a program designed for organizations or individuals to purchase a block of tickets, which is then donated to a group of children who are granted a unique experience by attending an Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders provide everything else that's necessary for the children to come to the game, including transportation. To get involved with RexCorp Islanders Inspire please log on to IslandersInspire.com to learn how you can donate or receive benefits from the program. Pucks Into Bucks
is a program aimed for children's hockey teams. This initiative allows teams to sell tickets, which they purchased from the Islanders at a deeply discounted $20 per ticket. Any amount over the $20 dollars is theirs to keep for their team and/or league to buy ice time or purchase new equipment. For more information about Puck Into Pucks, please call the Islanders Group Sales team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 3
or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
is similar to Pucks Into Bucks but this program is aimed for nonprofit organizations. The organization not only raises money, but the organization is offered a kiosk on the concourse for information giveaways. They may even have the 50/50 raffle proceeds go to their organization. To find out more about Islanders Assist, please call the Islanders Group Sales team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 3
or e-mail them email@example.com
The "We're All Islanders" School Assembly
program focuses on education at the elementary and middle school levels. Islanders Alumns Eric Cairns and Steve Webb, along with the Ice Girls and Sparky the Dragon visit local elementary and middle schools to educate students on the values of teamwork. Through interaction with the children, the Islanders prove that working as a team is more effective than working alone. To get your school involved with the "We're All Islanders" School Assembly program, please contact the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
. Literacy Day
is an educational program that the Islanders are involved with on an annual basis. Every October, each member of the team travels to various local schools and speak to the students about the importance of reading. After discussing the importance of reading, the players continue by reading a short story for the children. The reading is followed by a question and answer session and an autograph signing. To find out more about Literacy Day, please call the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
Every December, the team takes part in their annual Hospital Visits
. All members of the team break up into small groups and visit the children's wards of Long Island hospitals. The players deliver gifts to the children and hope to also bring smiles to their faces during the Holiday Season. For more information about the Hospital Visits, please contact the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
The "Runnin' Waves"
is the Islanders' branch of NHL Street
, a league wide initiative to educate kids about hockey through playing it on the street. This programs runs at 21 locations around Long Island. The equipment is provided through the Islanders and the NHL, so all the kids need are a pair of sneakers and they're ready to play! To get involved with NHL Street, please call the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
At every game, the Islanders Community Relations staff holds fundraising activities through the Islanders Children's Foundation
. Fans have the opportunity to participate in a 50/50 Raffle
, where half the money donated goes to a charity of the game. At specific times of the year, fans can also participate in a Halloween Mask Raffle
, a Holiday Ornament Auction
and a Valentine's Day Puck Surprise
. Each is personalized by the players and their families with the proceeds going to charities. Call the Islanders Community Relations team to find our more: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7.
The Jr. Islanders
is a select hockey team consisting of Long Island hockey players ages 11 to 12 and they are coached by former Islanders Steve Webb, Benoit Hogue and Bob Nystrom. Each year the youngsters attend the Quebec Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, the premier international Pee Wee tournament. The Jr. Islanders also hold numerous camps throughout the year for children of all abilities to learn about the game of hockey. The Jr. Islanders practice and play at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset, NY. You can find out more about the Jr. Islanders by calling the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
. The Charles B. Wang Ice Hockey Project Hope
is an educational program involving young Chinese students from the cities of Barbin and Qiqihar in the Hellongjiang Province. Project Hope organizes these students into Islanders-affiliated youth hockey programs, where they study English as part of their curriculum. After becoming fluent in English, they are eligible for the Project Hope scholarship, which consists of an academic year in America where they can work on both their English and their hockey skills. For more information about Project Hope, please call the Islanders Community Relations team at: 1-800-822-ISLES, Ext. 7
. Ann Rina and Megan O'Brien contributed to this story.