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Islanders Spread Holiday Cheer

by Andrew LeRay / New York Islanders
As the hockey season rolls past Thanksgiving and into December, the Islanders look forward to the upcoming holidays.  We are pleased to announce several exciting holiday events that will take place in the upcoming weeks.

Holiday Hospital Toy Shopping sponsored by EmblemHealth
On Tuesday, December 7, the Islanders will participate in a toy shopping spree at Toys “R” Us in Carle Place, NY.  The doors will open at 7 a.m. exclusively for players and their families.  The team will take their time browsing the aisles and filling their carts with toys, which they will deliver to local children’s hospitals.

“I’m just excited to be a part of it,” said Islanders forward Zenon Konopka.  “As a kid, you remember being so excited to get toys and gifts.  Now we’re trying to figure out what kids want and put a smile on their face.”

The cost of the toys will be covered by EmblemHealth, who is sponsoring the event.  The toys will then be delivered on Tuesday, December 14 to a number of children’s hospitals on Long Island

Holiday Hospital Visits sponsored by EmblemHealth
After the players have shopped for toys, they will deliver them in a full-team event sponsored by EmblemHealth on Tuesday, December 14.  A group of players will split up and visit eight different local hospitals, where they will greet patients and deliver the toys. 

“The holidays are a special time, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of our extended Islanders family,” said Ann Rina, Islanders Community Relations Manager. 

The Islanders will visit: the Stephen and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, and the Henry Viscardi School, serving children with severe physical and medical disabilities, in Albertson. 

Toy Drive and Holiday Grab Bag
At the December 18 game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders will hold a Toy Drive.  All donated toys will benefit the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation, which distributes toys to ill children at local hospitals.  Fans can bring three new, unwrapped toys to the Dec. 18 game and receive a ticket voucher for the January 11 game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Also during the Dec. 18 game, the Islanders encourage fans to participate in the Holiday Grab Bag.   For a $20 donation to the Islanders Children’s Foundation, fans can reach into the grab bag to win exciting Islanders prizes including Christmas ornaments signed by Islanders players, tickets to upcoming games, and other autographed memorabilia.
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