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Wang: 'We Can Get This Done'

by Rich Arleo / New York Islanders

Islanders owner Charles Wang addresses the Nassau County Panning Commission on Thursday night.
Islanders owner and Lighthouse Development Group Principal Charles Wang led a presentation on Thursday night to the Nassau County Planning Commission, once again stressing how much the project would mean for Nassau County—and for all of Long Island.

“We have to re-invest in our county,” Wang said to the crowd gathered for the 196th community outreach meeting at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. “This is our home.”

After hearing from Wang, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Nassau County legislator David Denenberg, those in attendance were shown two informational videos about the project. The floor was then opened to the public. Various residents of Nassau County spoke in support of the Lighthouse. For many, this project is very personal.

“It’s not just about hockey, it’s about jobs, it’s about education, and jobs for the people once they complete their education to stay on the Island,” said George Shultz, who is with the Islander’s Booster club.

Drew Bennett, a Uniondale resident and recent college graduate, explained how much he thinks the Lighthouse project can help.

“We need to get this done,” Bennett said. “ The Lighthouse represents hope and will address all the problems that we’re facing on Long Island, especially facing Uniondale. The school needs money, the community needs money and beyond the Islanders the County needs this. We need to move forward.”

There were a number of Islanders fans in attendance, many of whom shared how important the team is to them, and just how important this project is to Long Island.

“March 24th, 1976 is a day I’ll always remember,” said Bill Boothe, who introduced himself to the room as an Islanders fan and Vietnam Veteran. “It was the first time I saw the Islanders play. At a difficult time in my life [the Islanders] helped pick me up. It’s about the rebirth of this franchise and the Lighthouse is about the rebirth of this Island.”

As the meeting drew to a close, optimism reigned supreme.

"We can get this done," Wang said.

Click here to visit the official site of the Lighthouse Development Group.

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