“We have the police of Bridgeport and the firefighters of Bridgeport playing to determine supremacy on the hardwood. And it’s all for a good cause – to help rebuild an historic church that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.” – Mayor Bill Finch
Bridgeport, Conn. (April 10, 2015) – Bridgeport’s Bravest edged Bridgeport’s Finest in a charity basketball game Friday played to help rebuild the historic Walters AME Church that was damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy.
“We have the police of Bridgeport and the firefighters of Bridgeport playing to determine supremacy on the hardwood,” said Mayor Bill Finch, who attended and tossed a ceremonial jump ball as the game began. “And it’s all for a good cause -- to help rebuild an historic church that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.”
The game benefitted the Walters Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which was built 150 years ago and damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Pastor Janese Hawkins said she was “eternally grateful” that firefighters and police officers would volunteer their time to help raise money for her church.
“This is just a tremendous blessing that words could never express,” she said.
Both teams entered the Cardinal Shehan Center gymnasium confident.
Firefighter Damian Bullock predicted victory. “They have no chance. Once they signed up, that was it.”
Police Captain Roderick Porter sent back a friendly jab. “As usual we’re going to win. Everyone knows that firemen are people who wanted to be police officers but couldn’t cut it.”
He was graceful in defeat. “They got us. 42-38.”
Walters AME was built more than 180 years ago and had been a part of the Underground Railroad when slaves seeking freedom hid there. It was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and the congregation is trying to rebuild.