Monroe first responders fight heroin epidemic with “Hockey Against Heroin” event

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MONROE, MI (13abc Action News) - Monroe County first responders are drumming up support for the fight against heroin.

They raised thousands of dollars through a hockey game Saturday night, all benefiting a local non-profit group that helps those overcome addiction.

The event was called “Hockey Against Heroin” and it was held at the Monroe Multi-Sports Complex on N. Dixie Highway in Monroe.

It was the first-time for this event and organizers hope it becomes an annual tradition.

Monroe County Sheriff's deputies and police officers faced off against firefighters and paramedics.

They're expecting to raise more than 40-thousand dollars.

That money will be donated to Ryan's Hope Foundation, an organization founded by a George Barath, a Monroe resident who lost his son to heroin in 2012.

This faith-based program helps sponsor addicts through a 90 day to one-year program to overcome addiction and the money will also help fund a long-term facility for recovery.

"It's in every city in America, we're trying to take care of our city and this is bringing everybody together,” said George Barath, the founder of Ryan’s Hope Foundation. “In the last two weeks we lost 10 people to heroin overdoses. It's just breaking people's hearts and we're trying to do something."

"It's probably the best thing that's ever happened to me because I put behind me an addiction that has no conscious, it will put you in the grave eventually and I’m glad that I did it because I have a whole new life now," said Kevin McBee, a former heroin addict who turned his life around thanks to George Barath and Ryan’s Hope Foundation.

UPDATE: Police won the game 7-6.