Guns and Hoses Ice Hockey Game hopes to raise more than $500,000 for charity

This year, proceeds from the game will benefit the Carilion Children’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic

ROANOKE, Va. – Each year, local firefighters take on a team of local police officers for the annual Guns and Hoses Ice Hockey Game.

This is a big event that is expected to bring about 8,000 people to the Berglund Center.

The game started 19 years ago, and at the time, there was no official team. It was more of a pick-up game for charity. It was played right after a Roanoke Express game, and there were only about 50 people who attended.

Chief Irvin from the Roanoke County Fire Department remembers that first game and can’t believe how much it has grown over the years.

“The game has really increased in speed and intensity and talent. Hockey in the Roanoke Valley is really a big thing. Much more now than it was 20 years ago,” says Irvin.

The game has actually grown so much, that there is a waitlist to get on the teams.

Nick Harper, a School Resource Officer for the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office says, “I waited for years to actually play, to be on the list, for someone to quit or retire. That way I could get in. I finally did, and I look forward to it every year.”

During the last several years, the game has raised thousands of dollars for charity. In total, they have raised $300,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Last year alone, the IAFF raised more than $25 million for the MDA through events like this one.

This year, the Guns and Hoses Game will benefit the Carilion Children’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic. The clinic supports those who work with children in the Roanoke Valley who are battling various cancers.

For each ticket purchased, $10 will be donated.

Harper says, “It means a lot to be able to go out there and have a good time, but know that it is for a charity. In the long run, that’s what it is all about, raising money for different charities.”

“To be a part of that, all of us as first responders are all community-oriented and service-oriented. All of our charities have benefited children it really been strong,” says Chief Irvin.

The goal this year is to raise more than half a million dollars.

Over the past 18 years, 90,000 people have attended the game.

The game will start at 6 p.m. at the Berglund Center. Parking is free, but you will want to make sure you get there early.