On Saturday morning, over four hundred runners participated in a mile-long race to help raise money for Companions in Courage, a charity created by former New York Islanders forward and Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine.
Companions in Courage does tremendous work to help make life more enjoyable for pediatric hospital patients. The money raised goes towards building interactive playrooms in hospitals to ensure that children, no matter what they are battling, can still be kids.
This foundation has been around since 1997, and their mission statement hits you right in the heart.
“No child in the fight for life or health should ever have to go through it alone.”
The most impressive part of the event was seeing all the children that participated. Whether they were running by themselves or with a parent besides them, it was truly powerful given the cause.
And that’s that no matter how young some of these kids were, at that age, they were taking part in something that benefits kids just like them. Whether they fully understood their importance being in the race or not, it did not truly matter.
These children were there early on a Saturday morning, following their first few days back at school, doing their part to make a difference.
And for bystanders like myself, that spoke volumes.
The kid’s portion of the race took place at 8:30 am, followed by the women, then the men.
Surrounded by friends and family, you could see on the faces of the runners, regardless of age, how meaningful their participation was in the race. And as they approached the finish line, Pat LaFontaine could be seen cheering them on, encouraging them to finish strong.
And that they did.
Following the race, participants could head to The Meetball Place for food and some Barn Rockers, meet Pat LaFontaine and win some cool New York Islanders prizes.
Although I did not run, I was on hand to see my friends and co-hosts of Hockey Night in New York, Sean Cuthbert and Christian Arnold participate in the race.
What a pleasure it was to be at the Main Street Mile along with @hockeynightny @seanyhockey and @C_Arnold01, which helped raise money for former #Isles Pat LaFontaine’s charity Companion in Courage. More on the event tomorrow but a tremendous event. pic.twitter.com/jGCtdFF2u3
— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) September 3, 2022
There’s always something special when a community or many communities come together.
The Companions in Courage Foundation has a few more events on Long Island this month. On Sunday, Sept. 18, head out to Gold’s Gym in Islip for Strong Island Stangs to support pediatric patients with your ‘muscle…’ cars. The event is from 9 am to 2 pm, with an opportunity to get an autograph from Pat LaFontaine.
Then on Thursday, Sept. 29, head out to Cold Spring Harbor for 19th Annual Companions in Courage Foundation Golf Classic. This event will also honor New York Islanders legend the late Clark Gillies, who shared a passion for helping kids.
The Clark Gillies Foundation is a non-profit corporation developed to help physically, mentally, or financially challenged children.
Times are tough for many, especially with the pandemic and the fallout from that. If you have the time to attend any future Companions in Courage events, your support means the world to these sick children and their families.