MARQUETTE – Sunny’s very own Mike Plourde and Walt Lindala with Area firefighters and law enforcement personnel are gearing up for the 28th annual Pigs-N-Heat hockey game Wednesday evening at 7.
According to organizer Brian Olson, president of the relief fund, the game draws thousands of fans and offers an evening of spirited hockey action, with bragging rights on the line for another year.
In past year, the Pigs-N-Heat games drew between 3,000 and 4,500 people, raising thousands of dollars to assist fire victims.
Last year, the Pigs-N-Heat Fire Relief Fund received more than $18,000 from the game.
The game has a serious side, as well, with proceeds from the fundraiser going into the Pigs-N-Heat Fire Relief Fund that provides assistance to area residents who have been affected by fire.
Contact with Dan Dagenais over the years and the latest Facebook tells us the Pigs-N-Heat game and fund began in early 1984.
Marquette City Fire Department firefighter Dan Dagenais was approached by Marquette City Police Department officer Larry Grimsby and Michigan State Police trooper Dave Rotteman, striving to find a way to raise money to assist a family with three young children whose home had just been lost to fire.
Since Marquette is home to a large number of travel teams and the NMU Wildcats with lots of city hockey fans, a benefit hockey game seemed a logical choice.
Dan Dagenais indicated the first game drew 500 people and was played at Northern Michigan University’s PEIF building. The event raised $1,700and was then moved to the Lakeview Arena.
Since its inception, the game has generated more than $353,500, with about $300,000 having been distributed to Marquette County families who suffered losses due to fire. The fund pays for three nights of lodging in a motel and $500 or more, depending on family size, to assist the family start.
Brian Olson expects participation from local police departments will include the cities of Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming; Marquette County Sheriff’s Office; Michigan State Police; NMU Public Safety; and the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Brian Olson expects participants will be representing fire departments from the cities of Marquette, Negaunee, and Ishpeming, as well as the townships of Marquette, Chocolay, Sands, Skandia/West Branch, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Richmond, Forsyth, Republic, Powell, Michigamme, Wells, Champion and Republic.
For more details contact: