First responders battle on the ice to raise money for Koontz, Buckley families

(WISH Photo)

FISHERS, Ind (WISH) — The community came together to raise money for the families of Howard County Sheriff Deputy Carl Koontz and Sgt. Jordan Buckley.

Who knew first responders could play hockey? Saturday evening, the Indy Badgers — named for an officer’s badge — took on the Fort Wayne Freeze. The competition was fierce, but the support was more fierce.

The game of hockey and emergency workers is not a typical combination. But it’s one that brought the young and young at heart together.

“We got the hockey bug this year, didn’t we boys?” IMPD Detective Brett Seach asked his young sons.

“I love it. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do on my time off,” said retired firefighter Patrick Buckley.

Deputy Carl Koontz (Photo Courtesy: ISP)
Deputy Carl Koontz (Photo Courtesy: ISP)

But it was about so much more than the love of the game. Tim Clark of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office helped organize the charity event.

“We stick together. We back each other up. We support each other. When we have a brother or sister in need we step up to the plate and help out,” he said.

And on Saturday, they did just that. They helped out the families of Koontz, who was shot and killed back in March, and Buckley, who is recovering after being injured during that same shooting.

“I don’t think it’s one of those things that I’m ever just going to be over with and done with. It’s something I’m going to think about for the rest of my life,” Buckley said.

Buckley and Koontz’s widow, Cassie, and her son, Noah, started the game off by dropping the puck. Hundreds came out to show their support, paying to get in, buying raffle tickets and bidding in a silent auction.

“It’s a real awesome feeling to see the continued outpouring of support from the community,” Buckley said.

And, despite the circumstances that led him here, Buckley knows he’s exactly where he should be. “I don’t know if lucky would be the right word. I feel like I must have more work to do,” he added.

That work starts again on Monday when Buckley goes back to work for his first day since being shot. Saturday’s event raised almost $6,600, and the Indy Badgers beat the Fort Wayne Freeze 9-5.

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