Yesterday, Bruno Gervais, Andrew MacDonald, Matt Moulson and Frans Nielsen set out on Huntington Harbor for an offseason fishing trip aboard the James Joseph II with two special guests. Nicole and Dennis Cardiello, of Patchogue, NY, joined the Islanders foursome for a day on the water to benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
Mrs. Cardiello won this unique experience with the Islanders a year earlier, at the Islanders Business Club Golf Outing at Tam O’Shanter in Glen Head, NY.
“Last year at the golf outing I won the trip from a contest,” Gervais said. “Since it was for the charity, for the Islanders Children’s Foundation, I thought I’d auction it off to raise some more money.”
That’s where the south shore resident stepped in.
“Bruno turned around and said he would auction off the fishing trip to raise more money for the charity,” Mrs. Cardiello said. “I thought, ‘hey, this would be great.’ So I just started bidding and I won.”
The couple may have had to wait an entire year to collect their prize, but it was more than worth the wait.
“We couldn’t ask for anything more,” Mr. Cardiello said. “We had beautiful weather and the guys were just great.”
The players enjoyed the trip as much as the winners themselves, especially the auctioneer.
“We all had a blast today,” Gervais said. “None of us are very big fishermen, but I thought this was great. It’s fun to spend time with the fans and it was all for charity, so that makes it even better.”
For Mrs. Cardiello, a lifelong Islanders fan, the time spent with some of her favorite players couldn’t be overstated.
“We had such a good time, I’m still smiling” she said a day after the trip. “I’m going to be smiling for a long time. I may be an adult, but the little kid inside me got a kick out of fishing with the Islanders. They were great guys to fish with, but better yet, they’re tremendous human beings.”
The four-hour journey around northern Long Island gave everyone time to get to know each other and share some laughs, but underlying the fun was the generosity of everyone on board and the ICF.
“Any time I can give to charity, it’s a no-brainer for me,” Mrs. Cardiello said. “And these players are the same way. No one tells these guys this is what they have to do. Spending this time with them, you know they really like this and enjoy helping out. With so many people in the world who are self-absorbed, it’s so refreshing to see pro athletes that still have those core values of giving back and being good to other people. It really shines through and it’s a privilege to see in person.”
You’ll have your chance to help the Islanders Children’s Foundation on September 27 at the 3rd annual Islanders Children’s Foundation Golf Outing. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting Long Island based non-profit organization that provides opportunities to children and will work with those children’s charities that focus on the areas of health, education, and youth hockey development.