In an effort to raise money for the families of fallen police officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, the NYPD and FDNY men’s volleyball teams held the first annual game in their honor at Maspeth High School over the weekend.
Malcolm Brissett, officer at the 77th Precinct and captain of the NYPD volleyball team, organized the event.
“I’m thankful for everyone’s love and support during this difficult time,” said Brissett. “We lost two officers in the line of duty, two officers who sacrificed their lives by protecting others. It’s important we give back to them.”
Before the game began, attendees had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and t-shirts from the NYPD and FDNY.
The raffle prizes were all donated by local businesses, including Patrizia’s, Villa Erasmo, Connolly’s Corner and Enchanted Florist & Greenhouse.
Jerry Matacotta, volleyball coach at Maspeth High School and a member of the FDNY team, said the event is intended to be based in community and unity.
“It’s important to get together after a terrible event and show the city that we’re still here and we’re still strong,” he said. “We wanted to get morale back up again and help the families, so that’s how it’s become an event more than just a game.”
The NYPD won the first game, and the FDNY won the second. The NYPD went on to win the next two rounds to win the title.
The evening will be remembered for years to come as a ball signed by all the players will be displayed at the high school.
“The police and firemen are so important in this community, and it’s great that so many people support them,” Matacotta said. “It’s not even about the game, it’s about community.
“We’re all so divided now, but in reality most people back the firemen and police officers,” he continued. “So this is an event to have a good time and show their respect to the two officers who were killed.”