Steinlight Sports

Jim Dowd, Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils, continues to maintain that good guy persona by giving back to the community.

Growing up in New Jersey, it was appropriate that Brick native Jim Dowd was drafted by the Devils in 1987. In the 1995 Stanley Cup Final, he thrilled Devils fans with one of the greatest moments in team history when he scored the game-winning goal with 1:24 left in regulation of game two to give the Devils a 2-0 series lead on their way to a sweep of the Red Wings and the first championship in franchise history.

After a 17 year NHL career that also included stints with Vancouver, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Chicago, Colorado, Philadelphia and three games with the Islanders, Dowd is still a Jersey kid and doing some great things for his community down at the Jersey Shore. He is on the Board of Directors for the third annual Asbury Park Music and Film Festival.

The growing event takes place the weekend of April 20-23 throughout the Asbury Park area and raises money for underserved children by providing music programs through music education, instruments and social connection opportunities.

“It’s huge,” said Dowd a gritty, hard working player who scored 71 goals and totaled 229 points during his 728 game career. “It’s the local area where I grew up at the Jersey Shore. It’s just a great way to give back because I know what it’s like growing up with not much. Anytime you can give back or the kids, that’s what it’s all about because the kids are the future.”

The festival features a wonderful collection of live music, world-premiere films and panel discussions with some of the biggest names in the music and film industries.

This year, there are many activists and events on the festival schedule including Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul, Grammy-nominated and Jersey native Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Mike + the Mechanics (founding member of Genesis Mike Rutherford), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, exclusive archival footage of Bob Dylan as well as the world premiere of the documentary “Just Before The Dawn” that focus on the Upstage Club in Asbury Park that helped launch the careers of Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Southside Johnny.

“You’re going to have a blast,” said Dowd. “It’s a great weekend to see some great acts and great movies all while you’re helping out kids. You’re going to see some amazing events.”

Mixed in with all the music and movies is that chance that you might just run into Dowd at the festival and engage in some hockey talk. And that wouldn’t just be exclusively for Devils fans. So that means Dowd will be all ears for fans of the Islanders, Rangers, Flyers or any other team.

“We’re trying to branch out to everybody,” said Dowd. “There are definitely quite a few Devils fans and we love that. But we don’t mind all hockey fans at this event.”

Now that would be a Kodak moment if Dowd was to pose for a photo with fans wearing different jerseys!

But the focus of the event is on music and film and raising money to help out the kids.

Last year’s event featured actor Don Cheadle and the entire Preservation Hall Jazz Band spending time with children and staff at the Hope Academy in Asbury Park to support inspiration, part of a three-year donation commitment to the Asbury Park Music Foundation.

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This year, there are many activists and events on the festival schedule including Grammy nominated and Jersey native Robert Randolph and the Family Band as well as the world premiere of the documentary “Just Before The Dawn” that focus on the Upstage Club in Asbury Park that helped launch the careers of Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Southside Johnny.

“Yeah it really is amazing,”. “There’s something for everybody from music to films to art. It’s only it its third year so this is only going to get bigger and bigger. They put together a great group of people there.”

Jim Dowd lived a dream as a jersey kid playing for the Devils and raising the Stanley Cup. He heard the roar of the crowd during his playing days and now he’s giving back to the community that gave so much for him.

A complete list of events can be seen at the festival website www.apmff.com where you can also go to purchase tickets and VIP passes.

 NEXT: Q&A With Isles Voice Bredan Burke 


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