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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The Islanders spread Holiday cheer throughout Long Island

Leading up to the Winter Holidays, the Islanders won't just be focusing on their hockey skills, but also their giving skills. The Islanders are pleased to announce Islanders Holiday Spirit: Hockey with a Heart leading up to and through the Holiday season.

Throughout December, Ted Nolan, Mike Bossy, the players, Sparky and the Ice Girls crew will try to make the Holiday Season even brighter by buying presents and making appearances all across Long Island.

One of the highlights of the month will occur when a group of 250 kids in grades 4th through 6th are given the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a shopping spree with Mike Bossy, Entourage's Kevin Connolly and Islanders players, courtesy of the Islanders Business Club and United Way. On December 18, thanks to donations from the IBC and United Way, the group of kids will be visit Modell's East Meadow location from 8-9 am. There, they will "shop 'til they drop," with breakfast provided by Dunkin Donuts. This event could not take place without the support of United Way, Modell's, Dunkin Donuts, Bossy's Bunch, North Shore Motor Group, Parts Authority, Tuscan Dairy, KDJ Advertising, Commerce Bank, OSI Pharmaceuticals and Alure Home Improvement.

Just a day earlier, on December 17, the entire team will be visiting local hospitals including Schneider Children’s Hospital (New Hyde Park), Winthrop University Hospital (Mineola), Good Samaritan Hospital (West Islip), South Nassau Communities Hospital (Oceanside), Stony Brook University Hospital (Stony Brook), and The Henry Viscardi School, National Center for Disabilities (Albertson) on December 17. They will be visiting the child life departments of the hospitals and distributing toys, which the players and their wives picked out, along with Islanders memorabilia.

Two days earlier, on December 15 prior to the Islanders-Penguins game at the Nassau Coliseum, the team will be promoting and collecting toys for the John Theissen Foundation Toy Drive. All fans that bring three unopened and unwrapped toys will receive a ticket voucher to the game on December 22.

The Holiday build-up will end with the Islanders' final home game prior to Christmas break. On December 22, when the Islanders host the Washington Capitals, fans will have the opportunity to win Holiday ornaments decorated by the players and their wives. A silent auction on the concourse will take place during the game. After the second period intermission, the winners will be announced on the Video Board. For those looking to include even more decorative ornaments to their Christmas Tree, an Islanders ornament could be the perfect addition. All proceeds from the Islanders Ornament Auction will be donated to the Islanders Children's Foundation.

Below are more exciting Islanders Holiday events taking place in December. We hope to see you there!

December 1st:  Sparky and Ice Girls at Winthrop University Holiday Party
The Ice Girls and Sparky will be on hand from 10:30 am to 12:30 at the Winthrop University Holiday Party.  The party will be taking place at the Community Outreach Center.

December 1st:  Sparky, Ice Girls at RexCorp Tree Lighting
On December 1st the Ice Girls and Sparky will be participating in the RexCorp Tree Lighting from 4:30 pm to 5:4 5pm. Children from the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club who have participated in Islanders Inspire will be guests at the tree lighting ceremony.

December 8th:  Sparky to Visit Cancer Care Holiday Party
On December 8th Sparky will be visiting the children that will be participating in Cancer Care’s Holiday Party from 11 am to 2 pm.  This party will be taking place at the Dolan Center in Greenlawn.

December 17th:  Marty Lyons Foundation Holiday Party
Sparky, the Ice Girls and a New York Islanders player will be attending the Marty Lyons Foundation’s Holiday Party.  The party will be held at the Huntington Hilton from 7pm to 9pm (that is the time we will be in attendance).

Click here to see Islanders TV video from last year's hospital visits.

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