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Moulson and Konopka present checks to ICF

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
At the start of the season, New York Islanders Matt Moulson and Zenon Konopka decided they wanted to be more proactive within the Long Island community and both players came up with unique ways to donate to the Islanders Children’s Foundation, for a combined season-ending sum of $25,500.


“The Long Island community has always been supportive of the team and we feel that giving back whether at appearances or donations is essential,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We have received generous donations from a number of players and we look forward to putting these funds into the ICF to help benefit children within the Long Island community.”

The mission of the Islanders Children’s Foundation is to support any non-for-profit foundation which promotes the health, education and youth hockey development of children on Long Island.

Before the season had begun, Moulson put a lot of thought into his charitable efforts for the upcoming year.

Matt Moulson #26 (L) of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal in the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning and is joined by Zenon Konopka #28 (R) at the Nassau Coliseum on November 17, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
“My wife and I wanted to do something at the start of the year,” Moulson said. “We shot a few different ideas around and I knew Josh Bailey was doing the tickets with Bailey’s Buddies, so I wanted to do something a little different. I love scoring goals so I decided I wanted to do something associated with that.”

It seemed like the perfect fit. Moulson established himself as the Islanders leading goal scorer in 2009-10, putting up the first 30-goal season of his NHL career. And of course, the Islanders forward was hoping he’d have another great year.

While no one can predict how much success they’ll actually have, Moulson set out at the start of 2010-11 trying to beat his career-high and committed to donating $500 to the Children’s Foundation for every goal he scored.

Now for the second straight season, Moulson has surpassed the 30-goal milestone and will be presenting Garth Snow and the ICF with a check for $15,500 prior to the Islanders matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, March 8.

“The specific thing I wanted to help with was the kids that can’t afford to play sports, especially hockey,” Moulson said. “It’s becoming more and more expensive every year and I wanted to be able to help contribute to that cause by letting kids be able to follow their dream. I think it’s a great cause and it’s something that’s close to us, especially being on Long Island and helping kids in the area. It’s a good thing.”

Konopka’s approach was also unique. The Islanders faceoff specialist cross-promoted sales from his company’s wine aerator, the Vin-Aire, with part of the profits from each purchase being donated to the Children’s Foundation.

“It’s always nice to give back to the city and the community that you play in,” Konopka said. “It’s always been a big part of my career, respecting the community, and having the opportunity with one of my businesses – the wine aerator – to give back to the Islanders Children’s Foundation, is something that’s important to me.”

This effort helped Konopka raise a significant amount of money for the children on Long Isalnd. Konopka presented a $10,000 check to Snow prior to the Islanders matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes on April 2.

“Every individual, everyone has talents and hard work, but sometimes people don’t get the opportunity to do what they want to do,” Konopka said. “It could be hockey, it could be arts, music or a slew of things, so it’s really just giving the children of tomorrow the opportunity to use their talents and expand on their great lives.”
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