Guns and Hoses charity event raises $83,000 for Love, Team Tessa foundation

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published May 23, 2024

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ROYAL OAK — The Guns and Hoses charity hockey game raised $83,000 May 11 for the Love, Team Tessa foundation.

Five police officers and eight firefighters went head to head with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni, losing 11-5.

That was expected, according to firefighter Jimmy Sharkey, an organizer of the 2024 Guns and Hoses event.

The point of the game was not to win or lose, but to raise money for an important cause, and nearly 400 people showed up to the event, according to Sharkey.

Love, Team Tessa is a foundation in honor of 9-year-old Tessa Prothero, who lost her life to neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the small adrenal glands on the top of the kidneys.

Love, Team Tessa raises money and awareness to end childhood cancer. According to Karen Prothero, Tessa’s mother, the donated money also goes to granting children affected by cancer “mini wishes.”

What is unique about the Love, Team Tessa foundation is that not only does it help children who are going through treatment, but also their siblings.

“We try to support kids fighting cancer, as well as their siblings and their families,” Prothero said. “That could look like anything from a staycation to a shopping spree or a gaming console.”

Prothero said that most recently, kids have been asking for bedroom makeovers. Being able to provide anything that can help put a smile on a child’s face is the goal of the foundation.

Prothero and her family are residents of Royal Oak and were connected with the Guns and Hoses event through firefighter Greg Van, a family friend. She said that working with the Fire Department and Police Department was a breeze.

“They were very accommodating and friendly and supportive,” she said. “You know, they just showed us a lot of love. They were just fabulous.”

Sharkey said this was his first time setting up a charity event like this, and to be able to help was rewarding for him and his peers in the ROPD and ROFD.

“I started working on this at the beginning of January of this year, so it literally took four months to set this up,” he said. “In total, we raised $13,000 (to put on the event), and some of that money went to the Wings alumni charity.”

Sharkey has been a firefighter for three years and joined the Royal Oak Fire Department a year and a half ago.

“I felt pretty good. I have never set one of these types of charity events up and this one was a pretty big one,” he said.

Having the community come together and support Prothero’s foundation for her daughter solidified the connection she has with the city of Royal Oak.

“It feels absolutely amazing. It really does. We’re a fairly new foundation, and we’re pretty small. So when our community chooses a foundation like ours to support, it really means a lot,” she said. “I just love Royal Oak. I love this community; they have shown us love all throughout our daughter’s treatment and now after.”

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