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Islanders Help Out At Ronald McDonald House Of Long Island

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
Brent Thompson and Doug Weight start preparing dessert at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island (Photo: New York Islanders)    VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

Islanders management, coaches and staff visited the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Thursday to brighten the day for families of sick children. General Manager Garth Snow, Head Coach Jack Capuano, Assistant Coaches Doug Weight and Brent Thompson, and another dozen staff members volunteered their time to cook lunch for 85 guests staying at the New Hyde Park facility.

“You always want to give back to the community,” Capuano said. “Today’s a good day to get out of the office and to be with the staff. Today was the first time I really got a whole tour of the facility and to see everything that it takes to keep it going. It’s a rewarding place for us to come and help. What the Ronald McDonald House does as far as housing the parents for the children that are here to get healthy and who need treatment, it’s an extraordinary place to say the least.”

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island has given comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in a local hospital since 1983. The building serves as a “home away from home,” complete with a kitchen, multiple play rooms, a library and a playground. The house is open year-round and relies on volunteers and donations to provide a relaxing environment.

After taking a tour and seeing the many great amenities at the house, Weight was impressed at the dedication the staff showed toward making the kids’ lives more enjoyable.

“They should feel proud of that,” Weight said. “It’s nice to see the community come together for places like this. There’s a lot of great people that come help here. We’re just doing our small portion today. This is a clean, beautiful and well run place. I’m very impressed.”

Matthew Campo, the Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House, was pleased to see the enthusiasm the Islanders staff showed when it came to helping out.

“The Islanders have been tremendous supporters of ours for many, many years,” Campo said. “Today when families get back from the hospital, they can sit down, take a deep breath and enjoy the food that’s being put on the table. It’s great that everybody’s here.”

As far as the meal itself, Capuano and Snow took care of the main course – baked ziti with a tomato-based sauce. Weight and Thompson spearheaded the dessert-baking, making cookies, brownies and cupcakes. The meal also included Italian meatballs and a salad.

At the end of the day, Capuano, who helped out all over the kitchen when he wasn’t perfecting his pasta sauce (which earned rave reviews), said that the Ronald McDonald House brightened the day for the Islanders staff as well as for the families there.

“Just being out here today and being able to contribute and cooking these parents a meal for this afternoon is gratifying, not just for me but for the whole staff,” Capuano said. “The people that work here full-time and the over 200 volunteers that go out of their way, they’re special people. They help this place to keep it clean and to keep it going. We’ve all had a lot of fun here today.”


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