He is known as "The Wrecker" for the heart, toughness, and passion he exemplifies in his on-ice play. For Islanders’ forward Joel Rechlicz, he has taken that nickname and transferred those same ideals to his off-ice activities as he returned to Long Island this past week to take part in the Islanders I.C.E Tour.
|Joel Rechlicz plays street hockey with campers. |
"It's always a blast to see the kids and everything," Rechlicz said. "To see them out, they had a good time and they always look up to you like a role model so it's great to give back and be there for them."
Rechlicz began his week on Long Island Monday, August 3 at the Bay Shore YMCA. He posed for pictures and signed autographs for over 300 campers, and ended the day on a street hockey rink set up by the I.C.E Tour for a game against Sparky the Dragon and half of the campers.
"It was really fun playing street hockey with the kids," Rechlicz said. "We had some really intense games out there."
The next day, Rechlicz was out bright and early at the Nassau Coliseum parking lot for the "Just Build It" Lighthouse Rally. He and fellow teammate Josh Bailey
then marched with the crowd to the Adams Playhouse at Hofstra for the public hearing on the Lighthouse. After the public hearing, Rechlicz jumped in the car and drove out to Freeport to meet the campers at the Country Club Day Camp. The Islander tough guy finished the day at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville, signing autographs for over 150 fans.
On Wednesday, Rechlicz went up to the Glen Cove YMCA to sign autographs and play some street hockey with the hundreds of campers.
The following day, Rechlicz and the I.C.E Tour showed their support for the American Red Cross by attending the Swim-A-Cross for the Town of Hempstead at the Newbridge Park in Bellmore.
Over 300 swimmers from the Town of Hempstead came out to raise money for the Nassau County Chapter of the American Red Cross as well as participate in various festivities, and of course meet "The Wrecker" and his pal Sparky the Dragon. After stopping by the pool, Rechlicz, Sparky and the I.C.E Tour traveled to the Maplewood Camp in Wantagh where they met over 200 campers.
|Joel Rechlicz poses for a picture with a camper. |
On Friday, August 7, Rechlicz was seen at the Friends Academy in Locust Valley reading to the campers. Rechlicz, along with representatives from TD Bank, the Official Bank of the New York Islanders, came to show kids the importance of reading over the summer. As campers gathered around the Islander forward, he read them a book that stressed the importance of hard work and never giving up. All the children received a bookmark, which told them all about TD Bank's Summer Reading Program, where kids can get ten dollars deposited into their bank account just for reading ten books this summer.
After reading with the kids, Rechlicz signed autographs and met as many of the young campers as he could. The campers also had the chance to meet Sparky and play on the team’s interactive inflatables. Sparky and Rechlicz ended the day by taking a group photo with all the campers.
Rechlicz finished off his long and enjoyable week with the I.C.E Tour on Saturday by participating in the American Red Cross Swim-A-Cross in Bayville.
"This week went great," Rechlicz said. "We visited so many camps and I got to meet a lot of really great people, so I had a really good time. It was a blast."
Author: Rich Arleo