Companions In Courage - Connecting Kids in Hospitals
HOME ABOUT US DONATE NOW LION'S DEN EVENTS NEWS CIC STORE FAQS CONTACT US

Islanders and Rangers Announce First "Islanders-Rangers Charity Challenge"

Regular season series winner to be awarded the LaFontaine Trophy

Uniondale, NY, November 22, 2000 - The scene in the Club Room inside Nassau Coliseum was no different than any section of stands when the Islanders and Rangers get together - fans of both teams exchanging mostly good-natured barbs. Only this time, the fans were the owners as well.

Building on one of the most intense and competitive rivalries in all of professional sports, the New York Islanders and New York Rangers announced tonight a charitable component to almost three decades of on-ice competition. The winner of the teams' best-of-five regular season series will direct $100,000 to local charities to be paid jointly by the teams.

The winner of the series will also receive the newly established LaFontaine Trophy, named in honor of former Islanders and Rangers star Pat LaFontaine, who is known for his tireless commitment to charities throughout the tri-state area. "Pat is one of the most generous athletes in the history of New York sports," said Islanders co-owner Charles Wang.

"I give credit to Charles for the idea," said Charles Dolan, Chairman of Cablevision Systems Corporation. "I think it is an absolutely wonderful thought."

LaFontaine played eight seasons with the Islanders and ended his 15-year NHL career with the Rangers in 1998. The Islanders-Rangers Charity Challenge kicked off when the two teams met tonight night at Nassau Coliseum.

The team that wins the LaFontaine Trophy will have the opportunity to display the award at its arena.

"When I first heard about this award I was really overwhelmed," said LaFontaine. "The more important thing is giving back and helping those in need. I would really like to commend Mr. Charles Dolan, Mr. Jim Dolan, Mr. Charles Wang and Mr. Sanjay Kumar for a tremendous idea in taking a rivalry and taking the positive out of it and making it into a great cause."

LaFontaine, who scored 566 points in parts of eight seasons with the Islanders and 62 points in one season with the Rangers, did point out one scenario he would like to see from his vantage point as a former star of both teams.

"I think the best thing I could say is, come March 30 (the day after the fifth and final game of the series) I hope it's a tie. Does that mean both owners give $100,000?

"In all sincerity, I'm humbled and overwhelmed. This rivalry has been about two great organizations, a lot of great players, great fans, great history and to have my name associated with this is an honor."

The Islanders will split their donation between the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York, Cancer Care of Long Island and St. Christopher Ottilie Center. Cancer Care provides social care each year for more than 80,000 cancer patients, their families and friends. Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York is the largest Make-A-Wish chapter in the country and has fulfilled more than 3,500 wishes for children with life threatening illnesses. St. Christopher Ottilie, located in Sea Cliff, is a school for handicapped children that Islanders center Dave Scatchard is deeply involved with.

The Rangers will split their donation between NYR SKATE, a division of the Madison Square Garden Cheering for Children Foundation, and the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. The Cheering for Children Foundation is dedicated to improving New York's after-school programs, and currently benefits more than 25,000 boys and girls in all five boroughs. The Lustgarten Foundation supports pancreatic cancer research, and was established in the name of the late Cablevision Vice Chairman and Madison Square Garden Chairman Marc Lustgarten, who died of pancreatic cancer last year.

As part of LaFontaine's involvement, a donation will also be made to his newest charitable endeavor, "Hockey's All-Star Kids," which benefits children's hospitals across North America in each NHL city.

"The Islanders and Rangers have what many believe to be one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports," said Wang. "That's not going to change. It's going to continue. One of the first things Sanjay and I wanted to do after we purchased the Islanders was to work with the Rangers on a joint charitable initiative. And we're so glad that our good friends Charles and James Dolan were thinking along the same lines.

"For the thousands and thousands of fans in New York who made this rivalry what it is today, it was time to give something back to them."

Following the series' opening game at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night, the clubs play the next three games at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 26, March 5 and March 28. The Challenge will culminate at Nassau Coliseum on March 29. In 171 meetings between the teams, the Islanders hold a slim 78-76-17 advantage.
 

Pat La Fontaine - Hockey

CIC CHILDRENS ROOMS
THE LIONS DEN MICROSOFT CISCO FULL ARMOR

DONATE ONLINE


Please use the link below to use PayPal to make a donation to Companions in Courage.

HOME ABOUT US DONATE NOW LION'S DEN EVENTS NEWS CIC STORE FAQS CONTACT US LOGIN

PINNACLE MEDIA - LONG ISLAND WEB DESIGN

© Copyright Companions in Courage and Pinnacle Media LLC (A Division of Z2 Media, Inc.)
All rights reserved.