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December 11, 2012

Former Red Wings to play hockey for O’Rourke charity

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Red and blue will come together to celebrate hockey and raise money for a fallen West Bloomfield Police sergeant just in time for Christmas.

The Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association and the Joe Kocur Foundation for Children are getting ready to have former Red Wings players face off at a Dec. 21 charity game at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena.

Proceeds will benefit the family of West Bloomfield Police Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke, who died at age 39 in September after being shot while in the line of duty. O’Rourke was survived by his wife and four children, and shortly after his death, the West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees agreed to retroactively promote him from officer to sergeant.

According to organizers, a multitude of past players are expected to play during the charity hockey game. Those players include Dino Ciccarelli, Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer, Joe Kocur, Igor Larionov, Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Larry Murphy and Chris Osgood.

Singer Karen Newman is scheduled to start off the evening with “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Alumni association events coordinator George Bowman said the hockey players are honored to help, and they credited Kocur for pioneering the venture.

“He got his old buddies ... to go out and support the cause,” Bowman said. “They’re looking to raise $50,000, $60,000 in this one night.”

Bowman said the alumni foundation was founded in 1959, and today the members play approximately 20-25 games every year to support various causes. Recently, the players have done charity work for people in the military, he said. “The guys love it; it gets them back on the ice,” he said.

West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said his department is very supportive of the effort. “It sounds like a lot of fun,” he said. “The interest in the event has been significant. We have been getting calls and inquiries every day. Hopefully it will be a good game.”

The charity hockey game is at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 at Compuware Arena, 14900 Beck Road, in Plymouth. General admission is $20. During the event, guests may enter a raffle to win player jerseys worn during the game. All proceeds will go to the Patrick O’Rourke Family Trust.

Find game tickets at www.JoeKocurHockey.Eventbrite.com or at the West Bloomfield, White Lake, Milford, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Plymouth or Grosse Pointe police departments.

Find out more about the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association at www.DetroitRedWings.com/Alumni. Learn more about the Patrick O’Rourke Family Trust at www.WestBloomfieldHero.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.