“Some fans won money while others lost, but the real winners were the many children who will benefit from the money raised”
Last Wednesday the Isles held their second annual Casino Night, at Jericho Terrace, to benefit the New York Islanders Children’s Foundation. As usually happens with gambling, some fans won money while other fans lost. But the real winners were the many children who will benefit from the money raised.
Fans were treated to various table games, with their favorite Islander players acting as dealers. John Tavares, Casey Cizikas, Kyle Okposo, Matt Carkner, and Ryan Strome were among the players dealing blackjack, along with Head Coach Jack Capuano.
“I played a little blackjack tonight and, as a dealer, I had a couple tough shoots for the opposition,” Capuano said. “But it turned around and some people won some money so it was good.
It’s a great event,” he continued. “We do a lot for the Children’s Foundation throughout the year. There was excitement, guys were on the tables, craps, blackjack… It’s great for the people to come out and interact with the guys, and it’s a great cause to give back to the less fortunate.”
Some other notable Isles participating in Casino Night were Matt Martin and Colin McDonald, dealing roulette; Anders Lee running craps; and Nabokov helping out on Let It Ride Poker.
One of the highlights of the night was the live auction, run by legend Islander Mike Bossy. Twenty-year-old Conor Power bid $6,000 to win John Tavares’ game-worn Stadium Series jersey, and got to pose with Tavares and the jersey for a picture afterwards.
An additional $25,000 was raised during the live auction, when Bossy auctioned off a road trip with the team on their private chartered plane. The bidding went up to $12,500, at which point Bossy decided to take the two highest bidders and call it even, thereby doubling the donation. Each of the two lucky winners will go on a different trip.
Casey Cizikas described his experience at the event: “It was my first time ever being on the opposite side of the blackjack table and interacting with fans.
“All the money that they raised for the foundation, it was definitely a special night and something a lot of people had fun at.”
Isles General Manager Garth Snow may have summed it up best, when he spoke after being introduced by team owner Charles Wang:
“This is a great night to raise money for the kids who get visited by our players at hospitals, the kid who puts his first pair of skates on during the holiday season, an Islander jersey on a child that wouldn’t be able to afford it.
“So thank you everyone for your time and effort, and for being a part of the Islander family.”
Everyone involved – Islanders players, coaches, management and fans – had a great time, and the event was a huge success. Expect this annual tradition to continue next year and beyond.