This Saturday, Thayer Arena will host the second annual Mayor’s Cup Hockey Game at 7 p.m., between teams from the Warwick Fire Department and the Warwick Police Department.
The game was revived last year as a charity event by Warwick firefighter Chris Librizzi. Librizzi, whose son was diagnosed with Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes, organized the event in coordination with Warwick police officer Al Marano, and all proceeds from last year’s event were donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event brought in a crowd of almost 1,000 and raised roughly $7,000.
This year, they hope to have a repeat of that success.
The hockey game between the Warwick fire and police departments began in the 1960’s as a recreational event that grew to popularity, often filling the stands. The annual game was cancelled in the late ‘90s due to a few incidents, but the renewal of the game as a charity event has ensured that no such incidents will occur.
Last year’s game proved that the fiery rivalry may have been abandoned for some time, but is still alive and well. The fire department came out on top, winning the game 6-5 in overtime.
“The pace of the game, the speed, and the skill that guys played with was great,” Marano said. “There aren’t many guys out there that haven’t played high level hockey before.”
The crowd, the competitiveness, and the good cause all contributed in making the game a huge success. It passed the fundraising goal of $2,500 by a significant margin.
This year, the proceeds from the event will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides assistance to injured service members returning from combat. The Warwick police department were given the honor of choosing the charity for this year’s game, and they intend to keep this trend going in order to reach out to as many charitable causes as possible. According to Marano, their goal for Saturday is to match last year’s total of $7,000, and they hope for a full house to be in attendance.
The festivities will begin with the singing of the National Anthem by the choir from St. Kevin’s School. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, a prize table and a silent auction, which will feature memorabilia from the 2013 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through either the Warwick fire department or the Warwick police department. They can also be bought at the door, although seats may be limited.