The Second precinct Cops, left, and Huntington Manor Firemen, right, pictured at the start of the game. Photo by Steve Silverman
By Connor Beach
The Huntington Manor Fire Department hosted Sunday its 30th annual Cops vs. Firemen charity softball game.
The friendly competition, held at Peter Nelson Park on Oakwood Road in Huntington, is played between police officers from the SCPD’s Second Precinct and Huntington Manor firefighters. The game has raised over $125,000 for local charities since the first pitch was thrown in 1988.
HMFD Ex-Chief Mike Pastore, who organizes game, said the cops and firemen started “handing the hat around” at the first game and raised $132 dollars, which they donated to Huntington Hospital for toys at the pediatric ward.
“Each year after that we just started raising more money,” Pastore said. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community and all the past chiefs who have supported it through the years.”
Pastore said the charity game has brought around $50,000 for Huntington Hospital, but over the years, some of the proceeds have been donated to “people in need” in Huntington.
“We’ve helped people who had bad fires,” Pastore said. “If we got word of something that happened over the course of the year, then we would donate the money to it.”
This year’s game recognized HMFD Ex-Chief Lou Agiesta, who was the Chief when the games began in 1988. Agiesta threw the first pitch of the game to current Chief Mike DePasquale.
Although the cops won Sunday’s game 25-20, Pastore said the game has fostered multiple friendships between the first responders over the last 30 years. The game also provides an opportunity for both officers and firemen who have retired to see old friends.
“It’s a tradition that we look forward to every year,” Pastore said. “Raising the money for charity and getting to see old friends – that’s the fun of it.”