With Training Camp just days away from concluding and players still battling for spots, the team took time out of their busy schedule to meet some of the Islanders’ most loyal backers. On Thursday afternoon, following their morning practice, members of the Islanders squad paid their annual visit to suite-holders to personally deliver them their season tickets.
New Islanders captain Bill Guerin received a warm reception at North Shore LIJ in Great Neck. Michael Dowling, CEO of the North Shore LIJ Health System, received the suite tickets personally from the Islanders captain.
“What can I say?” said Mr. Dowling. “I think it’s fantastic to see Bill Guerin delivering the tickets. To have him visit is a great statement. We are loyal Islander fans here and this is great.”
|Bill Guerin with North Shore LIJ CEO Michael Dowling |
Said Guerin, “It’s so important to go out and meet the fans. We’re very appreciative of what companies like North Shore LIJ have done for the Islanders. We wouldn’t have the opportunity to play the best sport in the world without their support.”
Wade Dubielewicz and Andy Hilbert visited the offices of Alure in Plainview. The goaltender and forward shook hands, signed autographs and made some small talk about the upcoming season.
For Jeff Tambellini and Richard Park, it became an event. Traveling to the Cablevision offices in Bethpage, the company rolled out the red carpet, setting up a welcome sign for the two forwards and an autograph-signing station. The two players nearly shut down the place for an hour as hundreds of employees stopped by to say hi and get autographs for their family and friends.
“It’s exciting to have the players here,” said Kristine Schoefer, VIP Ticket Services Coordinator for Cablevision. “We’ve had a great turnout today. You see a lot of people bringing their own jerseys and taking the opportunity for photo ops. It’s a real nice perk for our employees.”
An e-mail was sent out yesterday informing employees of the mid-day siesta that would take place with the arrival of Park and Tambellini. One mother, Ilene Cohn, went a step further and took her son Ryan out of school early just so he could meet the players.
“He was up all night and so excited to come,” said Ilene of her son. “He’s a die-hard Islanders fan and was really thrilled to meet them.”
|Richard Park and Jeff Tambellini at Cablevision |
Meanwhile, Chris Campoli and Marc-Andre Bergeron combined their efforts when they realized their suiteholders were located in the same building. Campoli was originally supposed to stop by RexCorp and Bergeron was scheduled to deliver tickets to Farrell Fritz, both located in the RexCorp Plaza in Uniondale.
“Two for the price of one, eh,” said Campoli. “It only made sense that we both stop by each office. It’s always nice to go out into the community and meet the people you’re playing in front of.”
Bryan Berard and Andy Sutton also combined efforts, delivering tickets to Randy Buller of Parts Authority in Rockville Centre and Tom Hoey of Long Island Banana in Lynbrook.
Just south of the Nassau Coliseum in nearby Garden City, Mike Sillinger and Shawn Bates were more than happy to visit the good folks of Professional PT, where players have gone for treatment.
“These guys do a great job helping us rehab,” said Bates. “It will be great having them in the stands cheering us on.”
Whether players shook five hands or 500 hands today, everyone left their respective offices feeling a little more familiar with the dedicated fans that come to watch them each game.
“It’s a great opportunity for the players to interact with the fans, who are among the biggest supporting cast of our game,” said Park. “For us to meet them face-to-face and sign some autographs, it’s a great way to get closer to the fan base.”Click here
to see video of Bill Guerin delievering tickets by searching "DELIVER" in the Islanders TV Console.