Those committed to protect and serve took their oaths to the ice when the Coon Rapids Police and Fire Guns & Hoses hockey team faced off against the Legacy Christian Academy Lions at Coon Rapids Ice Center April 19.
It was the third annual hockey game played as a food and fund raiser for the ACBC Food Shelf.
Donations of non-perishable food items or a check made out to ACBC served as admission to the game. By the time the puck was dropped to start the contest, some 422 pounds of food and $146 had been donated.
An additional 900 pounds of food had been donated at collection spots at both Coon Rapids Cub Foods stores for the Guns & Hoses event.
“I am so impressed with all (Guns & Hoses) do for us. We so much appreciate it,” said ACBC food shelf manager Jerri Loughry.
According to Loughry, in the past three months ACBC food shelf has distributed 63,000 pounds of food to 750 families each month, including more than 300 from Coon Rapids.
Although the annual hockey game versus Legacy Lions is the only event Guns & Hoses organizes to benefit ACBC food shelf, its members host several fundraising events each year for other charities. Those beneficiaries include Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy summer camp for kids, and Heart Safe Communities.
In fact, just before puck drop for the April 19 hockey game, Tim Hoffman took center ice to demonstrate CPR for players and fans.
Hoffman survived a heart attack Oct. 3 but only after a co-worker administered CPR until Coon Rapids policemen arrived and used an AED they carry with them in the squad car.
“He was in (cardiac) arrest for seven minutes and without that CPR and that AED, Tim probably wouldn’t be here today,” said Guns & Hoses captain and Coon Rapids policeman Bryan Platz, who was one of the policemen on scene that day. Platz was also instrumental in getting the city of Coon Rapids designated as an Allina Health Heart Safe Community.
As for the April 19 contest on the ice, after a five minute overtime and subsequent shoot-out, Guns & Hoses hockey players took home bragging rights, winning the game 7-6.
“The game went into a shoot out with both goalies refusing to give up a goal,” said Platz. “The game was finally won 14 shooters later when Deputy Mike Pudlick scored on his penalty shot and Legacy could not answer on their final shot.”
“The Legacy team thoroughly out played us for the majority of the game,” Platz said.
Joe Olufson, Legacy Christian Academy junior and Lions hockey captain, said participating in the food and fund raising game is a “really awesome way to play hockey and make a difference to help someone.”
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Olufson’s regular season hockey coach Steve Larson praised the student athletes’ commitment to the event.
“I am proud of the players for thinking beyond themselves to help those less fortunate or experiencing hard times,” Larson said.
Platz appreciated Olufson’s work raising awareness and collecting food to help feed the community’s hungry families.
“Joe has been working hard seeking donations from community businesses such as Target and Cub Foods,” Platz said before the April 19 game. “It’s great to have a co-organizer like him.”
Of course, the food shelf always welcomes donations. For more information about what’s needed at the ACBC food shelf visit ACBCFoodShelf.org or call 763-422-0046.
Sue Austreng is at [email protected]