The 5th Annual Guns and Hoses Charity Hockey Game will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 11, at the The Wilmington Ice House, 7201 Ogden Business Lane.
The Guns and Hoses game is a annual hockey game in which 13 to 15 members each, from both the Wilmington Police Department and Wilmington Fire Department, lace up their skates and take to the rink to raise money for a good cause.
Police and fire departments rotate picking the charities each year. Last year, the hockey game raised more than $5,000 for the Wilmington Police Recreation Association. This year, both police officers and firefighters hope to raise about $20,000 for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, according to Wilmington Police Department Cpl. Peter Schwarz.
“It’s a lofty goal. I think we can achieve that … just because it’s such a great charity,” Schwarz said.
The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center is a part of UNC Heath Care system. It’s a 36-bed facility, one of the few in the nation, that is American Burn Association verified for both adult and pediatric care, according to the website.
Schwarz has been working to help organize the event since the start five years ago. An eight-year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department, now in the department’s Housing Task Force, Schwarz has been playing ice hockey since he was 6-years-old and was also one of four students who found the UNC-Wilmington’s ice hockey team.
Schwarz appeared on Port City Daily’s sister radio station 93.7/106 .3 FM The Dude with host Linda Wylde for an interview on Thursday morning. (LISTEN TO THE RADIO INTERVIEW)
His passion for the sport, along with many others in the police and fire departments who have joined the game throughout the years, have helped grow the event and drive the success in the money raised for several different charities over the years.
“We were kind of scrambling to get players at first, but like anything, once the word got out, people that played hockey came forward,” Schwarz said. “It’s been growing since.”
Some of the players practice with league teams regularly, but others simply show up and play for the charitable event. It’s a fun way to play-out the jovial rivalry between the two departments.
“There’s always been that stereotypical police versus fire rivalry. So, it kind of goes into play with that,” Schwarz said. “We’re out there to win. We want to win. But, we want at the same time to raise as much money as we can for the charities, which is the primary focus of why we are doing this — to be able to give back.”
Last year the fire department won 2-1, in an overtime shootout. The series as a whole stands at 3-1 for the Wilmington Fire Department. Schwarz said he hopes police can take a victory this year.
Refreshments and food will be available The Wilmington Ice House. Vittles Food Truck will also be serving food outside during the duration of the game.
Tickets for the Guns and Hoses Charity Ice Hockey Game are $10 per person. Purchase tickets ahead of the event by going to Wilmington Fire Station 8 at 601 Eastwood Road, Fire Station 3 at 114 Cinema Drive, or Wilmington Police Department Headquarters located at 615 Bess St. near downtown Wilmington.
More information can be found on the Guns and Hoses event Facebook page.