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by Joshua Mevorach / New York Islanders

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This past Sunday, at Rothmans Steak House in East Norwich, Islander fans got a once in a life time chance to dine alongside their favorite Islander players.  This was the second annual meeting of players and fans with all proceeds going to the Islanders Children’s Foundation (ICF) benefitting the Jr. Islanders Hockey Program. The steak house was packed with excited fans as well as the Jr. Islanders Hockey Team overflowing with excitement in anticipation of meeting their favorite Islander stars.

The night began with a meet and greet cocktail hour where fans were able to mingle with the entire Islander roster including the team’s coaching staff.  Following the cocktail hour, MSG+ analyst Billy Jaffe introduced head coach Scott Gordon who welcomed everyone to the dinner and thanked them for their generous contributions.  He also congratulated the Jr. Islanders members in attendance on their great win against the Montreal Jr. Team during their recent visit to the Quebec Tournament.

Following Scott Gordon’s speech, winning bidders from the auction, which ran January 25th to February 19th, sat down to a more private setting with their favorite Islanders. The players were joined by several Islander legends such as Bryan Trottier, Bobby Nystrom, and Benoit Hogue to accompany their bidders while they enjoyed some fine dining and conversation. The meal consisted of three courses and in between each some of the players took their guests around the room to get autographs from their teammates. This year’s charitable contributions grand total amassed $25,000 which surpassed the previous year’s approximate $20,000 total all going to the Islanders Children’s Foundation. 

“Everyone had a great time tonight,” Islanders Community Relations Manager, Ann Rina said.  “The Sticks and Steaks Dinner gives fans the unique opportunity to get up close with all the members of the team and actually get a chance to find out information on the players away from the game.  This is the second year in a row that we have hosted this event and we look forward to hosting it again next year.”

The ICF is a New York State not for profit foundation, created in the summer of 2003, and was partnered with The Hope Process in an effort to encourage donations for charitable organizations. The Foundation will work with those children’s charities that focus on the areas of health, education, and youth hockey development. Since January 2007 the Foundation has raised more then $1 million for the cause of helping countless children from Long Island and around the world.
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