The Raleigh City Council today formally recognized two Carolina Hurricanes equipment managers for helping the Police Department establish a recreational hockey club.
Mayor Charles Meeker presented plaques to Wally Tatomir and Bob Gorman at the council meeting. Mr. Tatomir and Mr. Gorman, along with the Hurricanes organization, have donated equipment and arranged games for the BlueLiners, the Police Department’s hockey team. Additionally, Hurricanes players and coaches have provided tips to the BlueLiners.
“We could not do a fraction of the things we’ve done without the help we have received from Wally and Bob -- and they ask for nothing in return,” said Police Lt. Ken Mathias, president of the BlueLiners and a forward, or wing player, on the team. “They’ve been very instrumental in helping us get set up.”
The BlueLiners play recreational hockey games to raise money for fallen or ill public safety employees and their families, to further bond with the community and to be role models for youth.
“The team members all love to play hockey but this gives us an opportunity to do charitable community service,” Lt. Mathias said. “We can do something in a direct way by using an up-and-coming popular sport to help an officer or an officer’s family that is in need.”
The BlueLiners recently played two games -- one in Raleigh against Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and another in Washington, D.C., against the U.S. Secret Service -- to raise money for the Charles Paul III Memorial Fund. Master Officer Paul, a seven-year veteran of the Raleigh Police Department, was killed Sept. 10 when he lost control of his motorcycle while trying to catch a speeding vehicle on the I-440 Beltline. He is survived by his wife, Tiffany, and 1-year-old daughter, Charli.
The BlueLiners also played a hockey game on Saturday (Nov. 2) and hosted a charity golf tournament on Monday (Nov. 4) to raise money for the Tom Stetson Fund. Mr. Stetson is a Wake County EMS paramedic who has been diagnosed with medullablastoma, a rare type of brain cancer. The fund was established to help the Stetson family with medical bills. In the hockey game held at the Raleigh Iceplex, the BlueLiners played a team from Mr. Stetson’s hometown in Ontario, Canada.
Formed in spring 2001, the Police Department’s hockey club currently has 26 players -- 23 police officers and three civilians -- spread over three teams. The BlueLiners have won championships in three recreational leagues. The team’s home games are played primarily at the Iceplex and the RBC Center prior to Hurricanes games.
For more information about the BlueLiners, including the team’s game schedule, contact Lt. Mathias at 890-3555 or visit the club’s website at http://bluelinershockey.tripod.com/index.htm