In memory of ‘Big Mike’: Superior YMCA, police host floor hockey game for kids – Superior Telegram
SUPERIOR — Kids can put their floor hockey skills to the test against members of the Superior Police Department during a free event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the Family YMCA of Superior Douglas County.
In addition to exercising, participants will be able to taste Subway sandwiches and discover a police car. The friendly competition is held in memory of “Big Mike” Almond, a local leader who passed away in May 2021.
“Mike was a really great human being. He was active in the community and supportive of the police,” Deputy Police Chief John Kiel said. “Mike has used his status as a community leader to promote good relations with police and people of color.”
Saturday’s event is a continuation of the work started by Almond. The top man organized a police vs. kids basketball game at the YMCA to help bring the groups together. Few participants showed up for basketball, but the organizers did not give up.
“The following year we decided maybe an indoor hockey game would be better,” Kiel said. “We had more officers and more kids showing up.”
The games have become a popular annual event.
“We had officers showing up on their own time, as well as officers on duty. The number of children playing increased every year. The games weren’t competitive, just great fun,” Kiel said.
The pandemic put an end to the event, but the police department and the YMCA teamed up to bring it back.
“Big Mike had a strong connection to the Senior Police Department, and we wanted to keep our part in this event to continue on his memory,” said Hannah Bourgault, Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator for the YMCA.
Kiel and Bourgault said they plan to expand the event in future years.
“It’s the first year, I hope it will continue and grow,” Kiel said. “I’m sure Mike would be honored by this event in his memory.”