Following the game against the Boston Bruins, the Islanders held their Jerseys Off the Back ceremony. Fans who were the winning bidders from the Islanders Children’s Foundation auction made their way onto the ice to receive their jerseys from the player they bid on. Proceeds from the auction will go to the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
The Jerseys Off the Back auction was held online at newyorkislanders.com from March 5th through April 1st. Fans were able to bid on the chance to have their favorite Islanders player hand them their game-worn jersey.
A total of $17,000 was raised during the auction, with the highest-priced jersey being Brendan Witt’s—which sold for $2,138.
“Brendan Witt has been a gritty player who comes to play everyday,” said Paul Longo of Jersey City, N.J., who walked away with Witt’s jersey. “He’s a good guy, he does a lot for the community and I’m a big fan.”
Longo had no problem paying what he did for the jersey, knowing the funds were going to support the Islanders Children’s Foundation.
“I totally get behind what the Islanders have been doing,” Longo said. “They do so much in the community.”
Justin Levy and his daughter, Abigail, got an extra surprise from Joey MacDonald.
“My daughter just started to be a goalie and she likes Joey MacDonald,” Justin Levy said. “It was great. He was very nice. My daughter even asked for his stick and he gave it to her.”
Linda Viggiano of Yaphank, who won Doug Weight’s jersey, has crossed paths with the Islanders veteran earlier this season at the Sticks and Steaks Dinner.
“He’s a really great guy,” Viggiano said. “I think it’s a great benefit to the Children’s Foundation, but it’s also nice to get one-on-one with the players.”
For the players, it is a great way to get to meet some of their biggest fans.
“I think it’s great,” Weight said. “Anything you can do to get the fans more involved—to see the players and certainly watch them play in the jersey you’re going to get—knowing it’s different than having just a jersey. I think it’s something every team should do.”