YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Red and blue lights flashed outside of the Covelli Center Saturday night, but these officers weren’t responding to a crime.
“We want to pay tribute first off to the first responders, to the firemen, to the policemen,” said Phantoms co-owner Troy Loney. “We did it last year, we’re doing it again this year.”
People filed in Saturday for Hometown Hero night. A portion of the ticket sales, along with all of the money raised by a 50/50 raffle, went to the Newhard Family Trust.
Sergeant Brian Newhard, a former Jackson Township and Mill Creek Park Police officer, died from ALS last September. His children dropped the puck at Saturday night’s game.
“Can’t even put it into words how thankful and grateful we are,” said Jenny Newhard, Brian’s wife. “We’re just so proud of him and we’re going to continue to honor him. It’s just overwhelming.”
Police and firefighters filled the Covelli Centre. People met local officers and their canine companions. Children could tour the vehicles and try on police gear.
Brian McGivern of the Canfield Police Department says this is a great way to bring the community and first responders together.
“I think it’s a nice time, gives us a little bit of a break from the job. Come out with your families, enjoy a hockey game and support a really good cause.”
Loney says it’s great to have people watch the hockey team and thank their first responders.