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Boomer Esiason, ex-Islanders to play charity hockey game
The Kings Park-Commack Alumni Hockey Team is geared up and ready to once more face off with its biggest -- and only -- rival in what has now become an annual charity game.
Taking on a team of former New York Islanders -- along with an honorary Islander, former pro football player Boomer Esiason -- the game will benefit two charities with community ties.
For the second year, proceeds from the star-studded event will go to the Frank J. Rizzo V Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Sarah Grace Foundation, said Kings Park-Commack team captain Kevin Barattini, who organizes the event. The game will take place at 4:30 p.m. on April 15 at Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park.
Frank Rizzo, who died in a car accident in 2010 the day after his 30th birthday, played on the Kings Park-Commack hockey team in high school.
This year, the team will retire Rizzo’s jersey, No. 68.
The Sarah Grace Foundation was established in honor of Hicksville’s Sarah Weippert, who died of leukemia at the age of 12. The foundation supports children with cancer and their families.
Barattini, 30, of St. James, became involved in the organization in 2010 when his company, Barattini Productions, provided the entertainment for a benefit for the foundation.
Last year’s game raised nearly $6,000 for each of the organizations. Barattini said he hopes this year’s event will triple that based on ticket sales and donations from local organizations.
“The support we’re getting is incredible,” he said. “It’s really overwhelming.”
The pregame show will be hosted by Sal Ferro, chief executive of Alure Home Improvements and eight-time remodeler for ABCs “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the national anthem will be performed by a former Long Island “American Idol” contestant who has not yet been announced, and “God Bless America” will be performed by Kings Park High School student Alysson Gannon.
Tickets for the game are $20 and are available at kpchockey.com and at Superior Ice Rink.
Above: Frank Rizzo, who died in a car accident in 2010, in a photo from high school, when he played on the Kings Park-Commack hockey team.