The Chicopee Police and Fire Department get together after last year’s Battle of the Badges event.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

CHICOPEE — The Chicopee Police and Fire departments will lace up their skates to compete in the eighth annual Battle of the Badges charity hockey game.

The event will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 4-6 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Arena, 575 Maple St., Holyoke.

According to police officer Travis Odiorne, the event raises anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000.

Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club, 25% goes toward a local charity that is determined at the end of the game and the remaining 25% goes toward a scholarship for a Chicopee High School student involved in sports.

The game runs like a regular National Hockey League game with three, 20-minute periods and there will also be raffles, commemorative hockey pucks for sale and a T-shirt toss for the fans.

Although Odiorne does not participate in the game, he talked about how much fun the players have.

He said, “Our guys love it. They start ramping up for the season. They get together and do two practices together. We practice with our team and then the Fire Department gets together on the other side of the ice. They are hoping to do more games this year, they talk about doing more games every year.”

The Police Department has currently won six of the seven matchups so far and Odiorne said they hope to keep the trophy at their department for another year.
Although there is a winner in the game, Odiorne also talked about the real winners who are the ones receiving the donations.

“We do a lot with the community, with the Boys and Girls Club, every year. This is one of our biggest charitable events that we have. We have a great relationship working with them and it’s always positive to be able to give back to them for everything they do for us throughout the year,” Odiorne added.

Last year, officer Mark Wilkes suffered a heart attack when he got home after competing in the charity hockey game and has been out of work ever since.
Odiorne said the hope is to get him to make an appearance at the event this year for a ‘special night.’

“We did a lot of fundraising off of the event last year trying to support him and his family so we are hoping he can make an appearance at this game,” Odiorne added.

Tickets are $10 a person and free for kids 12 and younger.

Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased ahead of time by visiting the Battle of the Badges Facebook page.

tgarnet@thereminder.com | + posts