CHAMPLAIN — A group of correction officers raised $4,500 playing a little hockey as a fundraiser for kids and a colleague with cancer.
They dubbed the recent event the Winter Classic at Mahoney Pond.
“We have been working on it for four to five months,” said Liam Mahoney, a correction officer who hosted the event on the pond at his home in Champlain.
Liam and his wife, Carlie, bought their house a couple of years ago, and the pond behind it was big enough to support a hockey game.
From there came ideas for the fundraiser.
One of them was the fact that a lot of the officers involved with the project grew up playing hockey, correction officer Travis Labier said.
But the main motivation was to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee and correction officer Aaron Lemay, who is battling cancer.
“We wanted to give back to a fellow officer,” Labier said.
Money donated by the hockey players and sponsors — the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association Inc., Plattsburgh Distributing and TNT Sawmill in Mooers — went to St. Jude, Mahoney said.
And 100 percent from concessions and raffles was given to Lemay.
REMATCH NEXT YEAR
The game itself featured a scrimmage between the red and blue teams. Blue came out on top, earning a 6-3 win on the inaugural match.
“It was a close game up until the third period,” Labier said. “But we will get them next year.”
The correction officers were expecting the crowd at the game to comprise their families and maybe some friends. However, several members of the community showed up to support the event.
“There were some people I didn’t even know who they were,” Labier said.
That, he said, was a great boost to the event.
“I was pretty surprised (with the turnout),” correction officer David Hall said.
He was the goalie for the winning team.
A lot of people came out, donated their time and money and had some fun, he said.
With the turnout they got and the amount of money they raised, he sees no reason for them not to host the fundraiser again.
“We want to make it an annual thing,” he said. “The sky is the limit.”