The New York Islanders announced on Monday that they are partnering with Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft lip and palate charity, with the goal of raising funds and awareness for the organization. The event will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. when the team takes on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum. For each ticket sold, $2 will go directly to Smile Train
During the game, the Islanders will hold a variety of fundraising initiatives, such as the Chuck-A-Puck intermission game, where fans can purchase numbered foam pucks that are thrown onto the ice with the hopes of landing it on the center ice bull’s-eye. Fans can also participate in the 50/50 raffle, taking place throughout the first two periods. Smile Train will have a collection table located at Gate 3 on the concourse offering information and giving fans the ability to make donations.
“A simple surgery that can take as little as 45 minutes can change a child’s life forever,” said Susannah Schaefer, CEO of Smile Train. “A donation, no matter how big or small, to fund Smile Train’s work in training local surgeons and working with local hospitals across the developing world, has the potential to make a huge impact. Smile Train is extremely grateful to the Islanders for allowing the organization to share its mission and work with a larger audience, especially on such an important day of charitable giving.”
#GivingTuesday, which is the same day as the Islanders/Penguins game on December 3, is a special call to action and creates a national day of giving around the annual holiday season. The premise is to inspire giving each and every day. #GivingTuesday celebrates generosity and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations, during the holiday season.
“I am thrilled that Islanders fans will get the chance to learn about Smile Train and the great charity work they do for children with cleft lip and palate,” Islanders Owner and Founder/Chairman of Smile Train, Charles Wang said. “Every child born with a cleft should have the opportunity to live a full and productive life. It is the greatest feeling seeing someone come out of surgery with a big smile, knowing their life has changed for the better.”
Smile Train provides free cleft surgery and comprehensive care to more than 340 children in developing countries every day. Smile Train’s mission is focused on solving cleft lip and cleft palate. Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly and are not allowed to attend school or hold a job. They face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache. Their clefts usually go untreated because they are too poor to pay for a simple surgery that has been around for decades. Smile Train provides that surgery and teaches doctors how to perform the operation that costs as little as $250.
Smile Train will launch their Seasons of Smiles campaign this winter to provide children with clefts in the developing world their very first smiles. The New York Islanders Charity game will be part or this campaign, which runs through the holiday season.