The weather may not have cooperated, but even a driving rain failed to put a damper on an exciting day for Islanders’ fans at The Red Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale on Sept. 27. The Third Annual New York Islanders Golf Outing benefitting the Islanders Children’s Foundation was shortened by foul Long Island weather, but the festivities continued into the evening, culminating in a thoroughly successful event.
It’s a very unique day, no doubt about it. You don’t play in these conditions all that often, but we’re having fun and that’s the big thing. - Butch Goring
“It’s a very unique day, no doubt about it,” said former Islanders forward Butch Goring. “You don’t play in these conditions all that often, but we’re having fun and that’s the big thing.”
Play was suspended after each group of five golfers had completed four holes. Course conditions had been worsening throughout the day, but the wet weather seemingly had little effect on those enjoying their afternoon playing alongside the Islanders.
“They’ve been great, I’m having fun,” said Todd Gallose, playing in a group with new Islanders forward PA Parenteau
. “They’re good spirits and we’re having a great time.”
The outing pairs willing Islanders fans with a current or former Islanders player or coach for a round of golf. Breakfast was served in the clubhouse before tee time, and a cocktail hour and dinner followed after play on the course was complete. All proceeds from the outing will go to the Islanders Children’s Foundation, an accredited 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that extends monetary donations and services to organizations that are in the areas of health, education, and youth hockey development for children on Long Island.
“It’s a good event,” said Parenteau, who considers himself an avid golfer. “Obviously, to have all the boys here, it’s a good thing for the fans.”
Islanders players and golfers shared some stories and laughs on the course in between dodging raindrops and teeing off. Mark Kleinknecht, a contractor who was playing in the outing for the second time in as many years, was paired in a group with Goring and current forward Zenon Konopka.
“With Butch, I’m getting the old stories, and with Zenon, I’m getting some newer stories. It makes it really fun,” said Kleinknecht.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., all golfers made their way off the course as puddles began to build. Inside the clubhouse, spirits were high and hardly a disappointed face could be found, as Islanders fans were able to mingle with current and former players and coaches during the cocktail hour.
Weather didn’t seem to be an issue anymore. Everyone was having a great time and there was a lot more interaction, being that the whole team was in the same room. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. - Ann Rina
“Weather didn’t seem to be an issue anymore,” said Ann Rina, Islanders Community Relations Manager. “Everyone was having a great time and there was a lot more interaction, being that the whole team was in the same room. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.”
After cocktail hour, all were seated to dinner, where a live auction ensued. Doug Weight and Bruno Gervais helped auction off a number of prizes, including a trip with the team to California during the week of November 9 to see the Islanders take on the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.
“The event couldn’t have taken place if we don’t have the sponsors, fans, and season ticket holders that come down and support the Islanders Children’s Foundation,” said Rina. “They are the most important people that make this event happen.”
Fans who were not able to attend the outing can still take advantage of other team events benefitting the Islanders Children’s Foundation. On October 3, there will be the Islanders Children’s Foundation Day at Adventureland in Farmingdale, where fans can enjoy access to their favorite rides and get a chance to meet their favorite Islanders. Later this season, the team will hold their first annual Casino Night. Details about the event can soon be found on the team website.
Rina, pleased with the outpouring of support, wanted to thank everyone involved with the planning of the event.
“Obviously, it’s not a one person show,” Rina said. “There are so many people behind the scenes that should be thanked for everything they did to make it come together.”