NY Islanders Co-Owner John Ledecky has been bettering the community around him since day one of ownership. He's engaged with the Long Island community and has expanded that role into New York City. In February, Ledecky and the Islanders donated $50,000 to Ice Hockey in Harlem, a program that offers free hockey instruction to the children of Harlem. This generous donation was on top of the $27,000 he previously contributed to the organization in honor of John Tonneli, an advocate for Ice Hockey in Harlem.
On Tuesday night, Ledecky was presented with Ice Hockey Harlem's Community Impact Award for his generosity towards the development of the children of Harlem.
The organization began in 1987 with 40 participants, who attended classroom sessions to learn about the game and skate on the ice once a week. The group would take the ice at Lasker Rink on the north end of Central Park, where volunteers taught and trained the youngsters the fundamentals of the game.
"Our program is more about building better people than it is about being ice hockey players," said Mark Garvin, Executive Director of Ice Hockey in Harlem back in February. "Everyone knows the life lessons and values you learn playing hockey and I'm fortunate to see kids pick it up every day. It's not possible without the support of the Islanders and others out there."
Aside from monetary donations, the Islanders have extended their relationship with the program, offering an invitation to the team's Jan. 14 game against the Montreal Canadiens. Members were invited to meet Islanders legend Bryan Trottier following the game and given the chance to skate on the UBS Arena ice. The organization was provided with signed memorabilia and suite tickets to auction off to raise additional funds for the purchase of equipment, ice time, and travel.