Battle of Badges of Interstate 81 Charity Hockey Game
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Some local first responders put on their skates on Saturday to play hockey. But there was so much more than bragging rights on the line.
Game on! Pennsylvania State Troopers clashed with members of the Binghamton Police and Fire Department at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Eyewitness News reporter Madonna Mantione served as the PSP’s honorary head coach for this first “Interstate 81 Badge Battle”.
“We’re thrilled to play with our brothers in blue here, we’ve never done this before,” Binghamton Police Department Constable Lawrence Taylor said.
Dozens of fans, friends and family members showed up to cheer on the players who are keeping communities safe.
“They might see us as someone other than someone in uniform, they see us playing and doing other things that everyone else does,” said Private Carl Puskar, community affairs officer for the police. of the State of Pennsylvania.
But it’s not just fun and games. A portion of ticket proceeds are donated to the Troopers Helping Troopers Foundation.
“It’s really important for us as soldiers because at any time we could consider this to help our family with anything that might happen there,” explained Sgt. Mark Dean, Pennsylvania State Police Civil Unrest Training Coordinator.
The non-profit organization provides financial assistance to any member of Commonwealth law enforcement and their families in times of need.
“We’ve had friends who have used it, we’ve had soldiers who have died in the line of duty that their families have used it, so it’s very, very important to us,” said the Sgt. says Dean.
Helping is the name of the game which they hope will become a tradition.
“We plan to relocate it to Broome County Arena for next year and bring them in and we will host them,” Officer Taylor said.
And help so many others… the ultimate goal.
Pennsylvania State Police defeated Binghamton 10-2. To date, the Troopers Helping Troopers Foundation has exceeded $400,000 and has helped over 150 beneficiaries.