KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — You would have thought there was some sort of medical emergency at the Kettering Rec Center with the amount of emergency personnel in attendance.
All of them were there for a hockey game between the Dayton Firefighter’s Hockey Club and the Fort Wayne Freeze to honor fallen Kettering firefighter Kevin McMaken.
“The community support has been awesome,” said Richard Morrett, a friend of McMaken’s. “Not only is it just firemen who have come together, the Fort Wayne Freeze, I hear, is a police officer team. It’s a true sense of public safety coming together along with the community.”
The game was played to remember McMaken who died in a car crash while off duty back in September. The 21-year-old was more than a year into his dream of becoming a firefighter when he was killed.
Morrett, who was like a mentor to McMaken, wanted to do something to help the family.
“We figured it would be a little event we would put together,” said Morrett. “From there, once I posted it on Facebook, everything took off.”
In a few weeks, the small gathering would include hundreds of people looking to make a difference.
McMaken’s siblings would also take center ice and drop the ceremonial puck to begin the game honoring their brother.
For the first responders playing in the game, the score doesn’t matter.
“We’ve done this several times,” said Patrick Holland. “Everytime you still get that feeling in your gut that the game is bigger than you.”
At last check, Morrett said there were 55 donations up to be given away in a raffle adding up to thousands of dollars in prizes.
All the money raised from the benefit hockey game will go to Sinclair Community College’s firefighter program in McMaken’s honor.