More in News
Fire & Police Winter Games to begin
LEWISTON -- If you enjoy hockey and supporting a pair of good causes, then make your way to The Androscoggin Bank Colisee from Jan. 17-19 for the International Fire & Police Winter Games.
Opening ceremonies at the Lewiston rink, located at 190 Birch St. will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, led by the Kora Temple Shriners. There will be a color guard, bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace," and the Special Olympic Torch will make an appearance. There will also be a moment of silence for first responders as this year is the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
The inaugeral IFPWG hockey tournament will feature six different teams. They include the (1) Lewiston Police Department, (2) Maine Fire, (3) the Third Watch Hockey Team from Bangor, (4) the Sanford Police Department, (5) the Maine Air National Guard in Sanford, and (6) the Boston Fire Hockey Team.
On Monday, teams 1 and 2 play at 8 a.m., teams 3 and 4 playing at 9:40 a.m. and teams 5 and 6 playing at 11:10 a.m.
On Tuesday, teams 1 and 6 play at 8 a.m., with teams 4 and 5 playing at 9:40 a.m., and teams 2 and 3 playing at 11:10 a.m.
On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the bronze medal game will be played at 9 a.m., with the silver medal game played at 10:40 a.m. The gold medal final game will be played at 6 p.m. The closing ceremonies will follow from approximately 7:30 to 8 p.m.
General admission in advance is $7 (call 357-5687) and $8 at the door. Children under age 10 admitted for free. Tickets are available at the Rumford Falls Times on Congress Street.
Proceeds will be divided between Shriners Hospital Children's Burn Center and the Special Olympics.
Also on sale will be commemorative IFPWG t-shirts and caps.
Sponsors include Owens Corning is featuring two free giveaways. Stop by their booth during the tournament or at the opening and closing ceremonies to sign up for a chance to win a finished basement or garage system, installed and fully furnished or a house full of high tech state of the art replacement windows.
Also, Pedro O’haras is offering anyone with a hockey ticker 20 percent off during the event from Monday to Wednesday for Wednesday's final game.
"This inaugeral event is small but good. We have an event," noted Executive Director Brenda Espinoza.
"Our mission with the 2011 winter games is to promote physical training during the cold winter months, while creating a fun atmosphere involving winter sports," noted Espinoza. "At the games, we plan to incorporate the IFPWG Person of the Year Awards. We hope the firefighters and law enforcement personnel, will enjoy the program and take this opportunity to include themselves or nominate another for the many selfless heroic acts that go unmentioned year after year."
She said the goal of the International Fire and Police Winter Games is to create a successful winter sporting event while giving back to two foundations formed to include the interests of both fire and law enforcement agencies -- the Shriners Hospital Burn Center (Boston), and the Special Olympics.
Espinoza said, "This is my dream and passion. I've always wanted to do fundraising."
The International Fire & Police Winter Games actually began about 15 years ago. "As a ski tour operator, I worked full time for five years promoting the event throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
I attended many fire and police trade shows in all areas promoting the games. We had merchandise made, which I still have most of it packed away," said Espinoza.
The event was scheduled for February 15, 2002, in Interlaken, Switzerland, and 600 people in October had signed up from all areas including China and Africa. Then came September 11, 2002 tragedy.
"I cancelled the event due to the heartbreak, tragedy, and loss of people that day," she noted, adding that everyone’s money was refunded.
With all that work and merchandise, Espinoza was waiting for the opportunity to bring this event to fruition.
The IFPWG is an all volunteer group, who include Jim Bennett, Bethel Fire Dept.; Lt. Jeff Angevine, Bethel Fire Dept.; Chief Rick Eichler, Gorham, NH Fire Dept.; Chief Bruce Pierce, Newry Fire Dept.; Don Nelson, retired Canadian Police; and Eric Giroux, Rumford firefighter.
Espinoza said she wants to make the IFPWG an annual event, using the same foundations, Shriners Hospital Children's Burn Center and the Special Olympics, every year. She added she looking to expand the event to include entries from the east coast and Canada.
For more information about the IFPWG, visit their website at http://www.ifpwg.com/.