Police vs. Fire shaking hands after the 2021 charity hockey game.

Local First Responders Team Up With Pink Patches & Charity Hockey to Fight Breast Cancer

Thanks to Dakota County and FoodSmith for their support.

This October, the West St. Paul Police Department and the South Metro Fire Department are teaming up to raise money for breast cancer research. There will be several opportunities to donate during this time, including buying pink patches and the annual charity hockey game.

“Unfortunately, breast cancer is one of those things that somehow touches almost everyone,” said Officer Elyse Wood, one of the event coordinators. “When it is brought up, people always have a friend, co-worker, or relative who has had breast cancer.”

Pink Patch Project

West St. Paul Police and South Metro Fire pink patches.
Local patches for the Pink Patch Project.

The pink versions of West St. Paul Police Department and South Metro Fire Department patches are $10 each, and all the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society to help support cancer research. They’re already on sale and available through the West St. Paul Police Department’s front desk.

“This is the first year we are participating [in] the Pink Patch Project,” Wood said.” “That is a nationwide initiative to support breast cancer by police departments all over… [It] is a really good cause, and while the focus is breast cancer, the funds [go] to the American Cancer Society, so it really benefits everyone.”

Police vs. Fire Charity Hockey Game

Police and fire hockey teams posing for a team photo in 2021.
The 2021 Police vs. Fire Charity Hockey Game post-match photo.

Another major fundraiser is the fourth annual Police vs. Fire Charity Hockey Game. The police and firefighters of West St. Paul and surrounding communities will be competing on the ice with the goal of raising money for breast cancer research. Admission is $5 per person and the game begins at 3 p.m. at the John V. Hoene Arena on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.

“Hockey has been a big part of our police culture,” said Wood, who has competed in the showdown every year since its founding. “So many of us played growing up, still play, and have kids who play… I think hockey is also good for all of us—it gets us out of the office, out of work mode, and allows us to all hang out and just have fun together. This job can be stressful, so we want to take advantage of the moments we can all be together in a positive atmosphere and forget about work for a bit.”

After the game, there will be a party at Dunham’s Bar & Restaurant on 173 Lothenbach Avenue. Admittance will include a free taco bar with the purchase of a hockey ticket, music, a silent auction, and raffle. The grand prize for the raffle is $6,250, and winners do not need to be present to claim their rewards. Concessions will be selling raffle tickets at the hockey game. However, until then, they are also available at Tappers Pub and Dunham’s Bar & Restaurant.

Last year these events raised almost $15,000 for charities including 360 Communities and Neighbors Inc., and the departments are hoping to top that record this year.

“Even if you are not a hockey fan, this is a great opportunity to come together as a community in a fun and stress-free environment while raising money for a good cause,” said Wood.

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