The NHL lockout may have postponed the Chicago Blackhawks’ annual fan festival at the United Center but it didn’t keep 23 former players from stopping by Saint Xavier University on Sunday afternoon for an afternoon of 16-inch softball.
Blackhawk alumni—featuring such esteemed alum as Stan Mikita and Jack O’Callahan—faced off against members of the Chicago Police and Fire Departments for the fifth annual charity softball classic. The event benefited the Chicago Firefighters’ Ende, Menser, Walsh and Quinn (EMWQ) Retirees Widows and Children’s Assistance Fund and Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. BMO Harris sponsored the charity softball classic.
Former Blackhawks players faced off against members of the Chicago Fire and Police Departments at Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field on the SXU campus, followed by CPD and CFD’s annual softball championship.
The Blackhawks Alumni was founded in 1987, when a group of retired Blackhawk players got together to discuss their future in the Chicago community and “to give something back.”
Blackhawk alumni and 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team gold medalist Jack O'Callahan said in an SXU press release:
“The Blackhawks Alumni are excited to organize this event for our fifth year. As former members of the Chicago Blackhawks, we love Chicago and have the utmost respect for the Chicago Police and Fire Departments. We are honored to be able to help their families," O'Callahan said.
The EMWQ Retirees Widows and Children’s Assistance Fund is non-profit organization formed to support the neediest widows and children of the Chicago Fire Department. The fund provides annual support to nearly 800 widows and 100 children of deceased Chicago firefighters and paramedics, according to the organization’s mission statement.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors the lives of fallen Chicago police officers. The foundation provides support and assistance to the families of officers who were killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
Families delighted in the antics of Benny the Bull, Tommy Hawk, Hubert the Harris Lion and the Saint Xavier Cougar, and lined up for autographs from Stan Mikita.
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