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Firefighters, law enforcement officers team up against domestic violence at charity basketball game

FORT KENT, Maine — A group of local firefighters edged out local law enforcement officers for a win on the Fort Kent Community High School gymnasium floor during a charity basketball game on Friday, May 17, but the community came out the true winner as the event raised $1,100 to combat domestic violence.

Proceeds from the third annual Firefighters vs. Law Enforcement Charity Basketball Game will support the Hope and Justice Project, a non-profit organization that provides community education about domestic violence and offers support services for those who are affected by it in Aroostook County.

Team firefighters, composed of members of the Fort Kent Fire Department, Maine Forest Service, wildland firefighters, and retired or former firefighters, smoked out law enforcement for a second year in a row, after law enforcement defeated them the first year the event took place.

This year’s law enforcement team included players from Fort Kent Police Department, Van Buren Police Department, U.S Customs and Border Protection, Maine Warden Service, Maine State Police, and Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert St. Germain, who is a captain for the Eagle Lake Fire Department, and also a firefighter for Fort Kent Fire Department, and Deputy Michael DeLena of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office and a former Fort Kent Police Department officer, organize the event each year.

In previous years, the teams have raised funds for new soccer lights at Fort Kent Community High School and the Eagle Lake-based non-profit organization All Things Become New, which support survivors and caregivers of those who have experienced traumatic brain injuries.

“I would just love to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the Hope and Justice Project,” St. Germain said. “I would also love to thank the law enforcement officers and the firefighters for participating in this amazing charity. The competition gets tougher every year, with great athletes on both teams, and I would just like to thank everyone involved in this event.”

DeLena said law enforcement is looking forward to returning for the fourth inception of the event next year.

“We appreciate the support from the community and the energy and excitement they bring to our basketball game,” DeLena said. “We plan on putting forth another great game next year and look forward to helping out another great organization.”

Channel 4 WFKTV televised this year’s game live on its Facebook page, where the video is still available for free public viewing.

For information about the Hope and Justice Project, visit the organization’s website or Facebook page. Help also is available by calling the group’s 24-hour Hotline number at 1-800-439-2323. Services are free and confidential.

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