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City providing help for Wounded Warrior hockey tournament

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A group of state correctional officers will be putting on hockey skates this winter to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Members of the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association are hosting a hockey tournament Jan. 3 to 5 at the Watertown Municipal Arena ice rink at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

All proceeds will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project, a national veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans that was formed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Gregory S. Binion, a member of the correctional officers Bulldogs team, has been working with the Wounded Warrior Project to make the tournament a nationally sanctioned event. It’s also a way to honor Fort Drum, he said.

“Fort Drum is such a big part of our community and has sacrificed so much in the past 12 years since Sept. 11,” he told the Watertown City Council on Monday.

In their 40s and 50s, the 24 correctional officers formed their team in May as a way to have fun and raise money for a worthy cause. They chose the Wounded Warrior Project because of the work it has done locally and nationally, Mr. Binion said.

The Fort Drum Mountaineers team has agreed to participate. Others include Watertown city firefighters and volunteer firefighters from Jefferson County and Massena, and a team of state troopers.

Before the tournament, the teams will be holding their own fundraising activities.

On Monday, the council agreed to help put on the event by donating ice time. Watertown Minor Hockey League, Figure Skating Club of Watertown and the Immaculate Heart Central hockey team also are involved in providing 15 hours of needed ice time.

Mr. Binion told the council that the Cerow Recreation Park Arena in Clayton had tried to lure the tournament there.

“This is where it should be,” he said about the Watertown ice rink.

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