Police, firefighters face off to help fallen trooper’s family

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published April 13, 2016

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ROYAL OAK — A summer tragedy last year made it obvious for Royal Oak Police Sgt. Patrick Stanton that his annual charity hockey game would benefit the family of a fallen officer.

“It was one of those things, heading into winter once it happened — as sad as the whole thing is, and seeing the wife and the kids — I pretty much knew from that moment who we were playing for this April,” he said.

The sixth annual Guns & Hoses Charity Hockey Game will benefit the family of Michigan State Police Trooper Chad Wolf. Wolf, 38, was hit and killed Aug. 28, 2015, while on duty on his motorcycle. He is survived by a wife and four children.

“We’re glad to help, and there has been a lot of other great fundraisers out there for him from other law enforcement, and this is just kind of our opportunity to do our part and try to take care of one of our own, so to speak, and take care of his family,” Stanton said.

The puck will drop at the annual game between the Royal Oak police and firefighters at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the John Lindell Ice Arena, 1403 Lexington Blvd.

The public safety officers always face off against one another on the ice for a good cause, choosing a different charity to help each year.

Stanton co-organizes the event with Royal Oak firefighter Tony Cattini, who also is looking forward to Saturday’s game.

“I love doing this event,” Cattini said. “I really enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community. The community pays our salary and this is an opportunity to help out various charitable organizations.”

Cattini said he is especially proud this year to help out Wolf’s family.

“It was such a sad event that happened, and this really gives us the opportunity to try and bring some peace to that,” he said.

Last year, Stanton and Cattini presented a check for $7,000 to the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program. Since the inception of the Guns & Hoses Charity Hockey Game, the fire and police departments have raised more than $32,000 for various metro Detroit charities. More than 500 people attended the event last year.

Stanton said that, so far, ticket sales look good and he is hoping for more. The police sergeant said he is thankful for all of the support from individuals purchasing tickets and from organizations making sizeable donations for the cause.

Carrying on the event each year fulfills a personal goal for Stanton, who always wanted to be a part of a police-versus-fire charity hockey game.

Stanton grew up in Marquette watching his father play in a similar fundraising game. Stanton teamed with Cattini in 2010, and they modeled Guns & Hoses after the games Stanton watched as a kid.

And, of course, there are bragging rights involved over who is the better team.

The ROPD took the win last year, beating the ROFD 10-4.

“We hope to keep them on the down side,” Stanton said. “We’re up 3-2 overall, but as good friends as we all are, I’m not the least bit bashful about having them lose a fourth year straight.”

Cattini said his plan is for the Fire Department to stage a comeback.

“I think we have a really good chance this year,” he said.

Tickets to the event cost $10 and may be purchased in advance at the Royal Oak Police Department or at any of the three fire stations. Tickets also may be purchased at the John Lindell Ice Arena the day of the event. The game also features a 50/50 raffle and silent auction.

“It’s a lot of fun just for us to play the game, but it’s very nice for us to know that we kind of do what little we can to help some individuals and organizations out,” Stanton said.

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