Hockey’s Greatest Skate for America’s Bravest
Denis Leary is proud to present the 4th Annual Celebrity Hat Trick to benefit The Leary Firefighters Foundation on Sunday, September 28. This year's event, "Hockey's Greatest skate for America's Bravest," will feature a competitive hockey game pitting 25 of hockey's all-time greatest against each other with celebrity players competing on each team....Tickets are $50 and $25, and are available online by clicking here, at the FleetCenter Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at (617) 931-2000.
At the Fleet Center http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0...04&minorcatid=9
The Leary Firefighters Foundation
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08-10-2003, 03:50 PM #1
Hockey’s Greatest Skate for America’s Bravest
08-18-2003, 04:51 PM #2
Leary charity game at FleetCenter Boston
Leary charity game at FleetCenter
By John McGourty | NHL.com | August 7, 2003
BOSTON -- A star-studded cast of former NHL greats will join comedian Denis Leary to play in the fourth annual Celebrity Hat Trick "Hockey's Greatest Skate for America's Bravest" at the FleetCenter on Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. ET. The game will benefit the Leary Firefighters Foundation which provides direct support to the Worcester and New York City firefighters.
The foundation was begun in 2000 after a warehouse blaze claimed the lives of Worcester firefighters James F. Lyons, Joseph T. McGuirk, Timothy P. Jackson, Thomas E. Spencer, Paul A. Brotherton and Jeremiah M. Lucey, Leary's cousin.
"What Denis Leary has done for us has been phenomenal," said Worcester firefighter Al Iocco. "When we were digging and sifting through the ruins, Denis was there night after night waiting with us while we searched for bodies."
The foundation's goals expanded following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center that claimed the lives of 343 New York City firefighters, including Leary's friend, Capt. Paddy Brown. The Leary Firefighters Foundation was the second-quickest charity to issue checks in the aftermath, he said.
"I'm the middleman," Leary said. "The money goes directly from you to the firefighters. I ask them what they want and we go down to the fire store, really, it's just like going to Wal-Mart."
The foundation is currently funding improvements at the Grove Street firehouse in Worcester and plans to present a mobile-command truck to the NYFD later this year. Leary said that New York City, like many cities, placed its firefighting command center in the first floor of a skyscraper. That building was adjacent to the World Trade Center and was also destroyed, killing a large number of experienced firefighters.
Cam Neely, Phil Esposito, Denis Potvin, Rick Middleton, Johnny Bucyk, Ray Bourque, Stan Mikita, Marcel Dionne, Pat LaFontaine, Guy Lafleur, Johnny "Pie" McKenzie, Ken Hodge, Peter Mahovlich, Brad Park, Bryan Trottier and Glenn Anderson will join Boston Bruins captain Joe Thornton in the game. Hollywood celebrities Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Tim Robbins, Lenny Clarke, Leary and others will also be on hand.
Leary said he will sit down with foundation board members Bobby Orr and Neely to divide the players and celebrities into two teams of apparent equal ability that will be coached by Orr, Don Cherry, Derek Sanderson and Gordie Howe.
"Having Don Cherry back in Boston will be a big thing," Leary said of the Hockey Night In Canada commentator who coached the Bruins from 1974-79.
The game will be played for the first time at the FleetCenter after three years at the Centrum in Worcester. The larger FleetCenter, in the state's capital and largest metropolitan area, has the potential to generate more revenue than the smaller Centrum.
Corporate sponsors include MasterCard, the EMC Corp., the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, the John Jefferson Smurfit Foundation, Herald Media Group, the William E. Weiss Foundation, American Airlines, New York's Hudson Hotel owner Ian Schrager, Entercom, the Boston Beer Co., Pernod Ricard, Credit Suisse First Boston, BMW of Manhattan, Gran Centenario, First Capital, HBO and My Firefighter Widows' and Children's Fund.
American Airlines' participation is significant. Two of their planes were hijacked in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Among those on board who were killed were flight attendant Madeline Sweeney, the sister-in-law of former Boston Bruins player Bobby Sweeney, and NHL scouts Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis.
Leary introduced foundation board members Jim Serpico, Mike Morgan, Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Frank Raffa, Neely, Orr, Sanderson and Michelle Lucey, Jeremiah's widow. The foundation has raised more than $1 million for equipment, training and education upgrades for the Worcester firefighters and more than $1.8 million for the NYFD.
"The bravery and commitment of our firefighters is unquestioned," Leary said. "Unfortunately, the tools they need to answer the challenges ahead are severely underfunded. It is a testament to their greatness that we have such an impressive outpouring of support from the hockey community, from Hollywood and from the fans that buy tickets to the game and support the Foundation."
Leary challenged and teased the fans with the promise of two major "surprises" at the Sept. 28 game, "one from the world of hockey and one from the world of rock 'n roll."
"Don't be like fans from past years who come up to me and say if they knew so-and-so was going to be there they would have bought a ticket," Leary said. "Buy your tickets now."
Leary said it is important to keep attention focused on firefighter issues. He said he was upset about the closing of the Central Division firehouse in Worcester, from where Lucey was dispatched the night he was killed; the closing of eight NYFD firehouses this year and the recent layoffs of 32 Worcester firefighters.
"Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) (who played in last year's game) is the only politician I know who has said what we've been saying all along: In the wake of 9-11, firefighters shouldn't be treated like civil servants anymore," Leary said. "They're not like sanitation workers and teachers, and I mean no offense to either of those groups, but if a bomb went off in this building right now, the first responders would be the fire department. Firefighters need to be separated and treated almost as a branch of the military and funded federally. That's what I believe "
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