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Area Firefighters Hit The Ice in Canton For Spinal Cord Group

Charity hockey game is Saturday night.

Like firefighters, hockey players often rush to help teammates in need.

Saturday night, as well as 20 Boston Police officers will grab hockey sticks to support spinal cord injury victims.

The Massachusetts Firefighters Hockey Club will play the Boston Police at 7 p.m. Saturday at Canton's Metropolis Skating Rink.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted, and will benefit Journey Forward, a Canton-based nonprofit that helps people "with spinal cord injuries, and they're told they'll never walk again," Jon Buckley, who organized the game, said.

"I was on a call last year, and someone mentioned that we should do it because they make (patients) pay. So I started making some phone calls and asking about it," Buckley said.

"They've got to go two hours, three days a week," the Canton firefighter said of the spinal cord inury patients. "That's $600 for something that's proven to work."

Journey Forward uses "the latest in the advancement of exercise," according to its website.

Norwood High School hockey player Matt Brown and Milton Firefirefighter Antonio Pickens, who both use the program, will attend Saturday night's game, Sharon Firefighter Dennis "Tex" Medeiros said.

Brown was Pickens was in June 2007.

Medeiros said insurance does not cover Journey Forward's program.

"That's the thing. Firefighters, we're all brothers, no matter what department you come from, no matter what community you're from," Medeiros said.

"You always want to help the next guy. This gives us a chance to do that, and also help a great organization."

Saturday's game will include a DJ, a 50-50 raffle, a chuck-a-puck contest and other activities.

The firefighters hope to raise $7,000 "if everybody comes out and fills the stands," Medeiros said.

It is the third charity hockey game organized by Buckley in recent years. The Massachusetts Firefighters Hockey Club is participating for the first time. The team formed just over a year ago, and plays in an area men's league in Bridgewater, according to Medeiros.

"We want to do as much as we can for local charities," he said. "We're blessed with our jobs. We get to do a lot of stuff for people when we're actually at work. But doing it off duty is kind of a nice thing," Medeiros said.

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