HOUGHTON — Keweenaw residents live in an area where law enforcement and the local communities that they serve, maintain a well balanced relationship and regularly show support for one another. One example of that support is a sporting event set to take place this weekend, where area police and fire departments suit up and hit the ice, while raising money for the communities that they serve.
“Coming up this Saturday is going to be our big event for Pigs N Heat,” said Christina Verran, the secretary for Pigs N Heat. “It’s our big hockey fundraiser where the fire fighters and police go head to head in a hockey game.”
Across the Peninsula Yoopers are known for their resilience and sticking together, and that rings true for communities of the Keweenaw, just as much as anywhere else.
“The Last few years it’s been at the John McInnes Student Ice Arena, which is the perfect location because its warm, they have lots of concessions, and it’s a huge arena,
said Erin Pizzi, a board member of Pigs N Heat.
This Saturday, the seats of the John McInnes Student Ice Arena will be packed with fans coming to root for their favorite hockey team whether it fights crime or fire.
“All the money that gets raised from the event comes back out into the community for anybody that’s affected by accidents, by fire, crime, anything like that we assist all those people,” Verran said.
The annual event has been going strong for close to two decades, and serves as the primary funding source for the charity.
“We do get donations throughout the year from people and the community, but this is our major fundraiser that brings in the money,” said Verran. “This how we get all the money in for our community members if they need any help with anything.”
In 2018, the organization redistributed $23,000 to victims of unfortunate circumstance. Planning for the event is a year round job and involves volunteers from area business and citizens.
“We pick our date for the next year within two weeks after this game and get started right away,” Verran said. “We meet monthly for a couple months and then when it get’s closer to the game we start meeting a couple of times a week to get everything set. It takes a lot of people to get this put together and get it going.”
This year’s game features some new activity stations and a few recognizable friendly faces.
“Also, we’re going to have a kid zone this year, which is something new,” said Verran. “We’re going to have some face painting down there, some coloring, all the kids prizes are going to be down there. McGruff is going to make a special appearance, Sparky is going to make a special appearance, and Smokey the Bear has informed us that he’s also going to make a special appearance so that’s going to be fantastic for the kids.”