Cops, Coaches Skate for Charity
Broomfield police officers laced up skates and took to the ice for a Christmas-time game aimed at serving children and the law enforcement community.
The 3rd Annual Hyland Hills Coaches vs. Local Law Enforcement hockey game took place Dec. 22 in Westminster.
Broomfield police, dressed as jailbirds in their black and white jerseys, snatched a victory in the charity game by winning 11-10 in an overtime shootout.
Admission to the game was a new or gently-used coat, and by the end of the night more than 350 were collected for A Precious Child.
“We raised a little more than $10,000, which is at least double, if not triple, what we did the year before,” said Broomfield Commander Roger Plunkett, one of the organizers since the event’s inception. “We grew some attention and are making it a really fun family event.”
Another organizer, Don Jaramillo of Hyland Hills, said in addition to the coats, $250 in cash was collected for A Precious Child and more than $9,800 to benefit Concerns Of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S), an organization that helps families of officers killed in the line of duty.
This year, the Westminster Chamber of Commerce got involved and recruited several businesses to help raise money.
Santa Claus made an appearance, as well as Bernie — the Colorado Avalanche mascot.
“We came up with a fun idea for both the coaches to play against law enforcement officers who play in different hockey leagues,” Plunkett said.
Officers from the Broomfield, Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Federal Heights, Arvada, and Denver police departments joined up with officers from Boulder and Adams county sheriff’s offices and Colorado State Patrol.
Last year, only about four departments participated.
Players also could pay for a “get out of jail free” card to get out of the penalty box. Santa on skates would escort each player, siren blazing, into the penalty.
Two additional jerseys were put up for silent auction as another way to raise money, along with a few other items.
Plunkett, who serves on A Precious Child’s board of advisors, also is involved with Hyland Hills through his son who plays for the organization. A lot of the students, ages 8 to 18, and their parents came to watch the game. Plunkett said about 400 people attended — hockey players, families and law enforcement families.
“We were very pleasantly impressed with the outpouring of funding” Plunkett said.
This year, Sill-Terhar Motors offered a 2019 Lincoln Nautilus for the “chuck-a-puck” game. People could pay $1 a puck or $20 for five pucks and the chance to throw the puck through the car’s open window.
Jaramillo said the game raised more than $1,000.
“Unfortunately nobody won the car, however everyone won a prize for participating that ranged in value from $20 to $50,” he said.
This year’s celebrity player was Derek Armstrong, a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and retired player. He started the game on the coach’s teach and finished with the officer team, including the shootout.
“The game ended in a 10-10 tie and the officers won in a shootout with Derek Armstrong sealing the win for the officers,” Jaramillo said.
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios