Former Islander Butch Goring helps fifth-grade fan

Elianna Lonardo chose Butch Goring, a member of the Islanders dynasty teams in the 1980s who played well before Elianna was born.

Kevin Maher

Jun 28, 2024, 9:07 PM

Updated 14 days ago

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Now that school is over, every student will have memories of their favorite moments.
Elianna Lonardo said she's got one she will never forget.
Elianna was a fifth grader at Maplewood Elementary School in South Huntington this school year. She's also a big Islanders fan, so when her teacher, Mr. Tomeo, told the class to do a biography project, Elianna wanted to write about one of the players.
She did not choose one she watches on the ice. Elianna chose Butch Goring, a member of the Islanders dynasty teams in the 1980s who played well before Elianna was born.
"I was honored that she chose me," said Goring.
Goring is the Islanders game analyst on MSG Networks, so Elianna said she felt like she's grown up watching Goring and learning about the team from him.
"Since I grew up hearing that voice, it was just automatically Islanders game time," Goring told News 12's Kevin Maher.
But Elianna didn't want to just write about Butch in school, she wanted to bring the four-time Stanley Cup champion to school.
During a game at UBS Arena, she invited him.
"It was a couple of days before the project was due, so it was last minute," explained Elianna. "I didn't give much thought to not doing it. I just figured, I have the time why not?"
So, on the day of her presentation, Goring went to the school and stood in front of the class with Elianna as she told her classmates all about Goring's professional and personal life.
She also made a posterboard with his pictures, facts about his career and the Islanders logo.
Elianna admitted she was intimidated with Goring standing by her side.
"I was so nervous. I didn't want to mess up anything or give the class some wrong information and have to have him correct me," she said.
But Goring said there were no corrections needed and Elianna nailed the report.
"I was impressed with her ability to get the information out. There are people on TV who struggle with that. But she was terrific. Job well done," said Goring, who also took questions from the class and signed autographs.
Elianna said she's now Goring's biggest fan.
And Goring hopes what he did will inspire other athletes to make small gestures that can go a long way.
"It was something special. So, if this helps other athletes to do the same thing then that'll be great," he said


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