K-9 officer Maz is shown in 2020.

K-9 officer Maz is shown in 2020.

File photo

Support police K-9s with a night on the ice in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 12, 2021


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Supporters of military veterans and the police will soon come together in support of working dogs with a hockey game fundraiser at St. Clair Shores Civic Arena.

A fundraising hockey game pitting the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program against members of the St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights and Clinton Township police departments will be held beginning at 2 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Clair Shores Civic Arena, 20000 Stephens St. Doors open at 1 p.m. for the event, which is sponsored by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers.

Michigan Warriors Hockey is teaming up with the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation for “Support the Paws that Enforce the Laws,” which will raise money in support of working K-9 officers throughout the country. The foundation provides safety equipment, first aid supplies, naloxone reversal kits and oxygen masks to officers to use if their canine partner is injured on the job.

“I’m a federal officer, a K-9 handler,” said Daniel Rader, a Michigan Warriors Hockey board member. “I wanted to donate the money to a good charity that raises money for K-9s in the working environment, which obviously the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation (does).

“They do so much in the K-9 world. It was only fitting for us to work with them this year.”

The Michigan Warriors Hockey program is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides ice time for disabled veterans and teaches them how to play hockey. Everyone on the team is a disabled veteran, Rader said, and their skill levels range from brand new to members who played hockey in college.

“When a lot of guys got out of the service, we didn’t have the camaraderie that we had being in the military,” he said. The organization tries “to provide that therapeutic atmosphere for veterans to get out there.”

Rader said they began raising money for police K-9s with a 2019 game in honor of Axe, who died in the line of duty in 2018 in St. Clair Shores.

That game raised money for safety equipment for police K-9s, as well as to help fund a statue in Axe’s likeness that stands in front of the department in honor of St. Clair Shores Police K-9s. The Michigan Warriors wanted to make the K-9 hockey game an annual event, but the pandemic put that on hold.

Chris Powell, president of the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation, said the Sept. 11 date is special to both groups. The previous game and other fundraisers have helped the foundation be able to provide vital safety gear for many K-9s, which he said can help an injured dog make it to the veterinarian.

“That gear is important to have in that regard,” he said. “We were inspired, when Axe passed, to do that.”

Powell said Rose, a K-9 officer at Wayne State University, had led the effort for the dogs to have that safety equipment.

“The night he was killed, the dogs that were out searching for his killer had the vests on,” Powell said. “We’re coming up on five years since Collin’s murder, so anything that allows us to bring together supporters and keep the name of Collin Rose alive is important to us.”

Tickets for the event are $10 at the door. They are also available in advance at www.michiganwarriors.org.

“If they can’t make the event, buying a door ticket is just as good as a donation,” Rader said.

They’re hoping to raise more than $15,000 during the event, with 25% of the proceeds supporting the Michigan Warriors program and 75% going to the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation.