Serving the community has always been an integral part of the Islanders' commitment to the local community. Most Islanders fans know about the team's bigger community events, like the Golf Outing and Casino Night, and the holiday visits to local children's hospitals.
But several players, including John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Andrew Ladd, take that commitment to Long Island and the NY/Metro area even further by hosting programs that have a direct impact on local children. These programs aim to provide a little relief to a child going through a difficult time, or, in the case of the Ladd's Leaders program, recognize young leaders in the community.
The New York Islanders are looking to you, our fans, to help us reach as many deserving children as possible, and to ensure that these player programs have the maximum impact. We encourage you to nominate a deserving child for one of the following programs.
For six seasons now, John Tavares has hosted the Tavares' Teammates program, which gives a child recovering from illness or an underprivileged child the chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime, VIP experience at a home game. Tavares' "teammate" gets to watch the game in a seat right behind the Islanders bench and high-five the players as they take the ice. Each teammate also gets invited to an Islanders practice where they get the chance to meet the Captain. "For 41 nights a year, this program allows for a child that has gone through hardships to enjoy a night of hockey. It's a thrill to be able to help out in any way I can," said Tavares. Click here if you know a child going through a tough time who would be overjoyed by the chance to be a Tavares' Teammate.
The 2017-18 season will mark the eighth season that Josh Bailey has hosted his Bailey's Buddies program. At each home game, Josh treats a child recovering from illness or a child facing hardships to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bailey's "buddy" watches the game from a seat near the ice, high-fives the players and gets to take pictures with Josh and get an autograph. Bailey enjoys the experience as much as his new friend. "The biggest thrill for me is seeing their smiles because I know, for a couple of hours, they haven't thought at all about the tough times they deal with day-to-day." Click here if you know a child going through a tough time who would be overjoyed by the chance to be a Bailey's Buddy.
Andrew Ladd started the Ladd's Leaders program to recognize and reward young leaders (age 5-17) in our community who are working hard to erase poverty, improve literacy or protect the environment, or someone who is making a difference in some other way. The Ladd's Leaders will be invited to attend a select home game and will sit in a suite for the game and meet with Andrew in the locker room after the game. Click here to nominate an inspiring young leader in your community.
The Islanders are a proud member of the local community and will continue to work diligently to touch the lives of those in need.