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05/04/2013 - 10:06am

(May 4, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks players realize the importance of the home floor advantage. The team won the Champion’s Cup at The Blue Cross Arena last season and will host Minnesota Saturday with a trip to the NLL Finals on the line.

(Pictured (left to right) Knighthawk Joe Walters, Ashley Gault and Jack Zimmerman of AJ's Custom Crafts, and Knighthawk Stephen Keogh)

With such strong support from their fanbase, the team decided to donate $1,000 to two local groups affected by recent tragedies: The West Webster Volunteer Fire Department and the DiMartino family. 

“We chose the two groups to donate money too because both affect local families. It is heartbreaking when tragedies occur such as the bombing at the Boston Marathon and killing of two firemen from the Webster Fire Department,” said Knighthawks Assistant Captain Mike Accursi. “Rochester and the surrounding communities have always been extremely supportive of the Rochester Knighthawks. In times of need, communities come to together to help one another. We are simply trying to help those families affected by these two events.”

The team will donate $700 to West Webster Tuesday night to benefit the families of the firefighters affected by the tragic events on December 24th. Two firefighters were killed and two were injured during the Christmas Eve incident. In January, the Knighthawks Charitable Foundation, Inc. presented a check for $1,100 to the West Webster Volunteer Fire Department.

"The players thought it was very important to reach out and help both causes. We represent Rochester and every player on our roster takes great pride in that,” said forward Dan Dawson, who also works as a firefighter in Brampton, Ontario. “This is a small contribution on behalf of the players to help with the healing process."

The additional monies raised by the players were used to purchase “B Strong” bracelets made locally by Ashley Gault and her boyfriend Jack Zimmerman, who own AJ's Custom Crafts in Greece. The couple sold the bracelets at the Knighthawks Playoff Game on April 27th. The proceeds are benefitting Gina DiMartino of Webster, and her brother Peter of Rochester, who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th. To purchase bracelets, go online to AJ's Custom Crafts Facebook page.

“With the money we raised throughout the season, we decided as a team to give back and help anyway we could,” said Rochester native and Knighthawks forward Joe Walters. “Both tragedies are close to home and we just want to show our support.”  

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