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Bruins Foundation, Waltham First Responders Team Up

Donate $65,000 to One Mission

by Mark Garbino @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

WALTHAM - The Waltham Police and Fire Departments raised $65,000 for One Mission, a charity that assists children with pediatric cancer, through the 2018 BFit Heroes Cup Hockey Tournament, powered by National Grid. On Tuesday afternoon, alongside the Boston Bruins Foundation, they presented a check to the charity at Waltham City Hall, marking the largest donation to date from the tournament.

"One of the police officers that was helping us coordinate everything, he had done some work with One Mission in the past, so he had suggested it, and we kind of fell in love with the idea right away," said Waltham firefighter Don Hopkins. "We had met with them, and they were just unbelievable people, so it was a match made in heaven."

Hopkins and his fellow first responders received a tremendous amount of support for their efforts, and he credited the local community for making it possible.

"It feels amazing," Hopkins said. "I was born and raised in Waltham, and to see a community come together - and that's what it was from start to finish; it was the entire community coming together to raise money for one important cause, and that was One Mission, and they believed and trusted in the first responders of the city to do that. They all came out for every event that we had. They were there and they supported us the entire way."

Prior to the Heroes Cup, the Waltham Police and Fire Departments hosted a charity hockey game at Bentley Arena, where they raised about $26,000. Mike Matros, Founder and Director of the Heroes Cup Foundation, praised them for their determination from start to finish.

"It was really impressive all around," said Matros. "From police and fire saying we want to raise this much money, to the local community when they had their lead-up game before the Heroes Cup at Bentley Arena, to fill the arena supporting their local police and fire, especially, nowadays, when you see everything in the news.

"It's so important to see such a community to say, 'Yeah, we're behind our police and fire 100 percent and anything you guys are doing, such as the Heroes Cup."

John Whitesides, Director of Health, Fitness and Wellness for the Boston Bruins, said that he was not surprised to see the Waltham first responders meet their goal.

"I met these guys early on in their fundraising efforts," said Whitesides. "They sat down, they told me, 'We want to raise $50,000, and I said, 'that's a lofty expectation.' It's hard to come up and raise money, and they were like, 'we're going to do that.' I looked at Chuck, the team captain, and I could tell they were going to do it. It's no surprise a great group of guys like this came together.

"I'm just wondering how big it's going to be next year, because once they get it and they get a feel for it and they're doing it, it's tough to catch them for other teams trying to win, too, because these guys know what it's like, and they know how much it's appreciated."

Whitesides also expressed how meaningful the partnership between the Bruins and the local first responders has been.

"Any time we can step up and really support them and help them in their fundraising efforts and things they're doing and really give back to them, it's everything to us," he said.

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