ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- Every year, the hype gets louder and the donations get larger.
Local law enforcement took to the ice on Saturday—challenging Highland Hills Hockey coaches, as part of an annual fundraiser for the Colorado Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (also known as “COPS”).
“It’s kind of amazing how much of a family we all are, so that’s nice to see,” said Kate Kearsley, whose wife works for the Broomfield Police Department.
But this year, the blue family was without one of its supporters in the stands.
“He would have loved it. He was not a skater, but he did like hockey!” Said Amy Moden, smiling.
Her late husband, Trooper William Moden ,was killed in the line of duty back in June while responding to a crash scene on Interstate 70.
On Saturday Moden went out on the ice to pay tribute to her husband and other fallen officers.
“It’s hard because I miss him. There’s just no words to describe that. But I’m also so proud of him, too,” she told Fox31, with tears in her eyes.
Everyone on "Team Blue" wore number 17, to honor fallen Adams County Sheriff's Deputy Heath Gumm, who was killed in the line of duty in 2018.
A spokesperson for the team says that tradition started last year, adding that Gumm loved playing hockey and always sported number 17 on his jersey.
Moden says Concerns of Police Survivors supported her and Trooper Moden’s family during their darkest time.
“It’s an important organization that does so much good and helps people navigate when they’ve lost everything,” she explained.
An early tally revealed the event raised a record high $15,000, though they expect that number to be even higher.
Volunteers also collected coats at the entrance, to donate to A Precious Child, a non-profit that gives back to children in need.
The fundraiser was also an opportunity for other law enforcement families to spend the day together.
“It’s fun hanging out with my dad, watching another hockey game,” said Antonio Fuentes, who said this is one of the rare times he’s seen his dad in uniform outside of their house.
“Sadly now, not everyone supports and believes in police officers. And I think it’s fun that not everyone here may support hockey, but they can come out and support officers,” Fuentes added.
The game is just for fun, but this one had an exciting finish.
The boys—and girls—in blue, taking home the W in a sudden death shootout.
Moden says her favorite moment happened before the game even started.
“The hugs that I received from his blue family was the best moment for me, because it gave me the opportunity to thank them for what they do,” she told Fox31, referring to her time out on the ice. “And to have that embrace from them always brings me comfort. It reminds me again of Will, and his selfless heart.”
“I feel like he’s with me all the time. Anything that I do, everywhere that I go, Will is always with me.”