BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — About 34 years ago, Traffic Sergeant Dan Correll had an idea to raise money for the American Heart Association, but wanted to do it in a unique way. He had heard about a hockey game between police and fire departments in New York City, and thought to bring that idea to Binghamton as a fundraiser.
“We went out and with the chiefs and got approval to go ahead and do it. Here we are today, 34 years later. The game’s still going on,” said Dan Correll, retired Traffic Sergeant for the Binghamton Police Department.
Proceeds from the event go back to the American Heart Association for research. Over the years, the departments have used different methods to raise money, with help from the community.
“The Binghamton Devils, the vendors at the arena help us out. The county by giving us ice time. It all comes together all to support the American Heart Association, which again, is close to both of us,” said Rick Allen, Assistant Fire Chief for the Binghamton Fire Department.
It’s a subject personal for both departments, as heart disease and other heart ailments have effected many in fire and police departments across the country. Correll even went through his own heat issues, and benefited from research funded by events like this.
“It’s not a pun, but I do take it to heart. To the point where in 1994 I had heart surgery,” said Correll.
Correll explained he made it through the heat surgery fine, and they even fixed a heart murmur he was experiencing. Several years down the road, he also suffered a stroke, another ailment the American Heart Association does research for.
In the end, everyone does what they can to raise money for a great cause, while keeping the fun and spirit of good competition going for all to enjoy. There’s bound to be some smack talk all in good fun, especially with the winning department keeping the Heart Trophy for the entire next year. All involved just hope to put on a fun show, and hope as many people as possible will be there to see it.
“We used to play years ago and guys could barely skate. Now it’s become quite competitive, it is a little bit higher speed than it used to be. Not quite AHL yet, but we’re getting there,” said Allen.
The Heart Cup game itself starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Floyd L. Maines Arena, with the match up between the Laval Rocket and the Binghamton Devils to follow. Tickets are still available for the Heart Cup game for $15.50, with $2.50 of each ticket sale going back to the American Heart Association. To order tickets, call the box office at (607) 722-7367.