In what’s become a winter tradition, Wilmington’s finest faced off against Wilmington Firefighters on Saturday, doing battle on the ice to raise money for kids battling childhood cancer.
With over 600 tickets sold, the Wilmington Winter Classic at the Skating Club of Wilmington was packed, as spectators watched some serious skating talent over three periods of play. And while Wilmington Fire Department took an early lead, it was the boys in blue who bested Wilmington’s bravest, 8-4.
Every year proceeds from the game benefit The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. This year the effort raised $6,000 for ‘B+ Heroes’ – children with cancer and their families.
Joe McDonough, founder of the B+ Foundation, invited three young heroes – Emily, Zoe and Jack – to come out onto the ice to meet the players and wave to fans. McDonough said each child puts on a brave face every day in their battle to survive the disease.
“It’s just so fitting to be here with the Wilmington Police and Fire Departments because I think that all of you are heroes to these kids that I get a chance to spend time with. I thank you for your support in helping us fight childhood cancer.”
McDonough’s son Andrew died in 2007 when he was a freshman at Salesianum after a 167 day battle with leukemia. “His blood type was B+ and that was the way he lived,” said McDonough.
Jeanmarie Jordan, whose husband is a Wilmington firefighter, was the key organizer of this year’s special event, coordinating raffle donations, the after party and the volunteers. She said this is a treasured event because it’s one of the very few that brings Wilmington fire service and police service families together.
“This crowd is so excited. They’re all cheering for their favorite police or fire, and it’s such a great thing to bring us all together,” said Jordan. “A lot of these guys see each other on the street, and other than passing and saying hello, there just aren’t a lot of opportunities where they can come together.”