Free, Fun, and Awesome Firefighters? Count Us In!
If the winter blues are setting in, Missoula-area firefighters can help.
No, they don't roll up with their colorful engines, lights, and sirens.
But for the past dozen years, firefighters have teamed up for a favorite local fundraiser, which assists and "rescues" people in the community who might be having a tough time.
And once again, all you have to do is show up and bring a willingness to help and have fun.
Fun & Fundraising
12-years ago, Missoula area firefighters, many of whom already play hockey, decided to follow the lead of other area communities like Great Falls by staging a benefit hockey game.
Although they jokingly call it "mediocre firefighter hockey", the games are super competitive and very entertaining.
Can the BomBEARos come back?
In the initial matchups, the Missoula Fire Department team was the one to beat. But things started to change a few years ago when the Missoula area Wildland Firefighters fielded their own team.
Each year, the USFS Wildlanders have gotten stronger and stronger. Last year in the opening game, known as the Urban Inter-Face Off, the Wildlanders beat the BomBEARos 4-3, tying that series at 4 games each. During the Fire On Ice match-up, the Wildlanders also topped the BomBEARos 5-4 in a game that went down to the buzzer in the final period.
Word on the street is that the BomBEARos are aiming to "come out of hibernation" and take the series this year.
Fun for a great cause
Proceeds for Missoula Fire go to their unique "Fired Up for Kids" program, which helps kids caught in the aftermath of house fires with clothing, toys and a friendly smile to help them heal.
The Wildlanders channel their proceeds into the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which helps families of firefighters recover after a firefighter is injured, or even loses their life.
Admission is free, donations welcome
Admission to the games at the Glacier Ice Rink is free, but there are many opportunities to donate, including a silent auction with amazing items, bottomless beer mugs from Big Sky Brewery, and a 50/50 raffle. The event is sponsored by Missoula Chevrolet.
The first puck drops at 6:00 pm on February 10th but get there early for the presentations and the colorful entry by the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band.
Looking Back at One of Montana's Most Explosive Fires
Gallery Credit: Dennis Bragg