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South Portland firefighters host charity hockey game

Proceeds from the 'Checking for Charity' game in Portland will go to the Maine Cancer Foundation, which helps families handle grief and recovery from cancer.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Portland High School hockey players, alumni, and South Portland Fire Department personnel took to the ice Sunday to raise money for cancer.

Organizers said the event, 'Checking for Charity', is in its sixth year with all proceeds going to local charities. 

"This is our biggest fundraiser of the year," Interim South Portland Fire Chief Phil Selberg said.

Selberg said the event is hosted by the South Portland Fire Department Local 1476 union. The event took place at the Troubh Arena in Portland.

"This year we're partnered with the Maine Cancer Foundation," Selberg said. "For us in the firefighting world, cancer is a big issue for us."

That's because, for some firefighters hitting the ice Sunday, the money going to the cancer foundation hits a personal tone.

"We've had a lot of wives in the fire department, including my wife, that had been dealing with cancer," Brian Smart, a firefighter, said. "It's touched a lot of us."

His wife, Maureen Smart, finished her final treatment for her cancer and is cancer free. She kicked off the game for the firefighters with a ceremonial puck drop.

"It feels good to support an organization that really helped us out. Her treatments over time have gone really well ... cancer treatment has come a long way from 20 years ago when my father had it," Brian Smart said.

This is the sixth year the fire department has hosted the event and it hopes to announce totals soon.

To find out this year's totals, you can click this link.

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