Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00
The New York Islanders are partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) for a special fundraising night Thursday, March 29 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. To go along with the donations and support of Islanders fans and all hockey fans in the area, Islanders Owner Charles Wang plans to personally match the total donation from the evening.
“It’s terrible that this is even an issue we have to deal with in our country, but it’s a big problem,” Wang said. “These are our children we’re talking about. They’re our future. We have to protect them as best we can. This is one of many steps we need to take and I look forward to the rest of the NHL and professional sports communities joining us in this fight.”
During the March 29 game, the Islanders will hold a variety of activities inside the Coliseum to help raise awareness and money for NCMEC’s mission of helping keep children safe. America’s Most Wanted host and co-founder of NCMEC John Walsh will attend the game and drop the ceremonial puck. “It’s an honor to have Charles Wang and the New York Islanders on our side in the fight for children. It’s people and organizations like this that really make a difference,” Walsh said.
During the game, the Chuck-A-Puck intermission contest will benefit NCMEC, as will as a portion of the evening’s ticket sales and collection tables that line the concourse. To generate added awareness, the giant center-ice video board will feature safety tips and important video messages about child safety throughout the evening.
“We all share a responsibility to help protect children, and it is only by working together that we can give them the safer lives that they deserve,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. “That is why we are so grateful to Charles Wang and the New York Islanders for sharing our commitment to child safety. Through their support and the support of their fans we have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of children.”
An estimated 800,000 children are reported missing each year – more than 2,000 children every day. An estimated one in five girls and one in 10 boys are sexually victimized before age 18. Yet, only one in three will tell anyone. Clearly, this is a growing issue that needs additional attention. Led by Islanders owner Charles Wang, the organization recognizes that need and is proud to become one of the first professional sports teams to join this fight.
Islanders mascot Sparky the Dragon will be joined for the entire game by “Clicky” the spokesrobot from NCMEC’s educational program, NetSmartz. The two characters will help staff members collect donations and distribute information on the concourse.