Monday, September 22, 2014

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Lancers Pay Tribute to First Responders

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Rochester: Lancers Pay Tribute to First Responders
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There was a special tribute at the Lancers home game on Sunday.

Before kickoff, there was a ceremony to honor all first responders.

Attendance at Sunday's game was a franchise record for the Lancers with more than 10,000 fans, doubling their usual turnout at a single game. They all came to thank a first responder in person and champion an even greater cause.

Cheering echoed from the Blue Cross Arena Sunday, but it wasn't just for the Lancers.

"It's exhilarating; all I can say is it's hard to explain the emotion and the support we are getting from the Rochester community on a day like today," said Lt. Syed Ahmed Mustafa.

A real-life hero making his first public appearance, since the tragic shooting on Lake Road in Webster on Christmas Eve. A symbol to the packed stands of the resiliency of a first responder and the community that backs them.

"They were grieving for the loss of those they knew, but they stood up with honor and continued their duty to make sure that our community continued to be safe," said Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive.

Prior to kickoff, a tribute ceremony was held on the field in honor of all first responders and those who couldn't be there.

"Here with us today is Tomasz two brothers' and we'd like to present them a jersey in honor of Tomasz."

Members of the West Webster Fire Department say Hofstetter's presence has given them hope.

"It will make the community really understand that we are gonna get through it, that he's recovering and it's nice to see all the support he's getting from his brothers and sisters in the fire department," said Mustafa.

And in good spirits, first responders and thousands of attendees enjoyed the game

They say the loss is still there, but days like this make it all worth it.

Sunday's game was a big win for the Lancers on the scoreboard and in its fundraising efforts for the West Webster Fire Department.

The Lancers beat the Missouri Comets 17 to 8.

Through shirt sales and jersey auctions, more than $25,000 dollars was raised and will be presented to the families of fallen firefighters Lt. Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka.

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