Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Islanders family at every level. Players participate in a variety of different charitable events throughout the year. Below are programs different players have implemented.
Bailey's Buddies Program
The 2014-15 season marked the fifth straight season Islanders forward Josh Bailey has hosted his Bailey's Buddies program. At each home game, Bailey invited a child recovering from illness or an underprivileged child for a once-in-a-lifetime, VIP experience. During the game, "Bailey's Buddy" watches the game in a seat close to where the Islanders take the ice, high-fives the players, receives an Islanders gift bag with a Bailey player t-shirt and meets the Islanders forward after the game. Bailey gives a jersey, signs autographs, takes pictures and often tours the locker room with each guest.
Defending the Blue Line Program
Islanders forward Matt Martin created a partnership with Defending the Blue Line in 2011, and over the last four seasons, the Islanders forward has hosted a veteran and a family member at each game from Defending the Blue Line. Martin takes the time to meet with each guest following all Islanders home games.
Tavares Teammates' Program
The 2014-15 season marked the fourth straight season Islanders Captain John Tavares hosted his Teammates Program. At each home game, Tavares hosts a child recovering from illness or an underprivileged child for a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience. During the game, the special guest sits right behind the player bench, high-fives the players as they walk onto the ice, receives an Islanders gift and meets the Islanders Captain after the game. Tavares signs autographs and takes pictures with each special guest.
Hamonic D-partner of the Game
The 2014-15 season marked the third straight season for the "Hamonic D-Partner Program". At each home game, Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic hosts a child that has lost one, or both parents. During the game, Hamonic's D-Partner sits in special rink-side seats, high-fives the players as they walk onto the ice, receives an Islanders gift and meets Hamonic after the game. Travis signs autographs, takes pictures and tours the locker room with each special participant. During the post game visit with Hamonic, the child and family in attendance share stories about their loved ones who have passed.
Martin & Cizikas Fight Cystic Fibrosis
Usually linemates on the ice, Islanders forwards Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas teamed up during the 2014-15 season off-the-ice as well. At each home game the Islanders forwards invite a child who has Cystic Fibrosis or a Veteran from Defending the Blue Line to the game. As causes that are near to the player's families, Martin and Cizikas wanted to create a memorable experience for children enduring the hardship of overcoming CF as well as military members who defend our country. After each home game Martin and Cizikas take the time to meet with each guest, sign autographs and take pictures.