WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- The power of positive thinking and the memory of an amazing student-athlete come together for a charity match on the ice between police and fire departments in Delaware this weekend.
The Wilmington Classic will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Skating Club of Wilmington, Delaware.
This is an annual fundraiser in its 10th year between the Wilmington Fire Department and the Wilmington Police Department, which benefits the B+ (Be Positive) Foundation. The foundation is named after Andrew McDonough, a Delaware student-athlete who lost his battle with leukemia when he was 14 years old.
His motto became "Be Positive" after a conversation he had with his father about his blood type before he was diagnosed with cancer. Although blood type has nothing to do with childhood cancers, his sister made it a motto of theirs by putting up posters in his room saying, "Just Be Positive".
Joe McDonough, Andrew's father and the president of the foundation, said that, "This game is really by heroes, for heroes. Police and fire departments coming together and benefiting our real B+ (Be Positive) heroes, children fighting cancer."
"It doesn't matter who the winner is. We want to put on a good show for the fans who donated money and time to a great cause, helping children and families who are battling cancer," said Sergeant Adam Ringle with the Wilmington Police Department.
"Started 10 years ago by accident," added Captain Griff Jordan with the Wilmington Fire Department. "A pickup game became a charity game and it's just exploded. For me personally, I love it. One time I skated out there and saw 1,300 fans there in the stands that was pretty cool."
The long-standing rivalry between police and fire comes to a head in the charity match, but the athletes know their limits. And they know not to quit their day jobs.
"Let's face it, we're all getting a little old to smash each other in the boards. We all have to go to work the next day!" said Sgt. Ringle with a laugh.
For more information on the B+ (Be Positive) Foundation you can visit, https://www.bepositive.org