|Bossy and Sparky with students from St. Claire’s |
For the second year in a row, the Islanders––in conjunction with the Islanders Business Club and Modell's Sporting Goods––provided youngsters with the shopping spree of a lifetime, leading up to the holidays. On Tuesday morning, Mike Bossy handed out $225 Modell's gift cards to 50 surprised students from St. Mary's Nativity School and St. Claire's School in Queens at the Modell's in Lake Success.
Scheduled as a trip to meet the NHL Hall-of-Famer, the kids were shocked to find out it was more than just a chance to get an autograph. Instead, they had free reign of the large Modell's sporting goods store and a large sum of money to their name.
"We have great IBC members, who were generous enough to donate money for the kids to come shopping," said Bossy, the Executive Director of the IBC. "Parts Authority donated a large portion this year. The kids had a great time. What was fun for me was that the kids didn't know they would be shopping. They thought they were just coming to meet me and they were still happy. It was great to see the look on their faces when they saw they were going shopping. Modell's is a great sponsor of ours and will hopefully be for a long time coming. You can get everything here."
St. Mary's and St. Claire's were chosen through the help of the charity organization Futures and Education.
"As a local retailer we look for ways to reach out to the local community," said Modell's representative Rich Lampmann. "That's a big part of why we partner with local teams like the Islanders. The holidays are upon us and for us to get involved was a no-brainer."
Many parents came to the store to support their children and help carry out the large bags of goodies.
"It was great," said Fawzia Laforest-Reid, who was at Modell's with son Christopher. "My son had a great time and got all the things he wanted that I couldn't buy him this year. It was wonderful and I can't thank the Islanders enough. It was the best gift ever."
The Futures and Education organization has also bought 300 discounted tickets to the Islanders-New Jersey Devils game on January 17 through the Islanders Assist Program to help raise additional money for their cause.
|Bossy with parents of the students |
"Futures and Education's mission is to provide children and families from low-income situations an opportunity to get a Catholic Elementary education through scholarship assistance," said Craig Katinas, Director of Futures and Education. "Through the efforts of Futures and Education, the Alive & Hope Foundation and through Dioceses of Brooklyn, over 5,000 children have benefited from the program."
After receiving their gift cards, the kids dispersed throughout the two levels of the store, picking up everything from backpacks to jerseys to skateboards. It was an experience they won't soon forget.
"This is amazing," said St. Claire's Principal Mary Basile. "I cannot express how excited we were. The kids were all very excited because this is an opportunity they usually never get. They had no idea they were going to be able to shop."
The Islanders will continue to spread holiday joy tomorrow, when the players visit Long Island hospitals and hand out gifts through the donations of the Islanders Children's Foundation and the players themselves.
"As an organization we want to touch as many people as we can," said Bossy. "To be able to do something like this and make a difference is a great feeling for everyone here this morning. SUPER BOWL CHAMP, ISLES ALUMNI ATTEND IBC EVENT
|Mike Bossy and Sean Landeta |
Following a long road trip for the team, the Islanders Business Club also reconvened on Tuesday night for an event at the IBC headquarters in the Nassau Coliseum Expo Hall. As per usual, IBC members were treated to a classy event with some special guests.
Two-time Super Bowl Champion punter with the New York Giants Sean Landeta signed autographs and allowed IBC members to try on his Super Bowl rings. Also in attendance were a group of Islanders alumni, including IBC Executive Director Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Bob Nystrom, Eddie Westfall, Gerry Hart and Mike Hordy.
In the spirit of the holiday season, IBC members were proud to have helped support the Modell’s shopping spree earlier in the day. It was thanks to their generous donations that the 50 kids were able to receive the holiday gifts they were all hoping for this year.
"It was an easy decision to donate to the shopping spree," said Peter Lev, of Starr & Company, LLC. "We contributed so we could make a difference––even if it’s small––at this time of the year. Given what we’re all dealing with it makes me feel very good on behalf of my clients to make something happen to those children, even for a moment or two." Click here to find out more about the Islanders Business Club or you can email: email@example.com
Contact the Islanders' Group Sales department at 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to raise money for your organization.
to see an IslandersTV video from last year's Modell's shopping spree.