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Brentwood community on power play versus cancer

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Jeff Healy | For The South Hills Record
Brentwood leaders open the dek hockey rink in Brentwood Park on Saturday with a commemorative slap shot. They are, from left, borough manager George Zboyovsky, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, Mayor Dennis Troy, council President Marty Vickless, Brentwood Park Initiative director Julie McCarthy, Councilman John Frombach and recreation director Paula Simmons.

Nearly 1,000 people assembled in Brentwood Park on Saturday to show support and play hockey.

The third annual “Drop the Puck on Cancer” event raised an estimated $35,000 for four families connected to Brentwood, where a loved one is suffering from cancer. The daylong hockey tournament, which included an enormous Chinese auction, children's activities and plenty of edible delights, drew in Brentwood residents of all ages.

“It was incredible,” said Matt Harkins, 45, a 1987 Brentwood graduate, who now lives in Jefferson Hills, one of eight organizers of the event. “It's just amazing. Each year, you think, ‘Do people still have it in them?' and they just keep coming out.”

The day also served as the official unveiling of a dek hockey rink in Brentwood Park that opened late last year.

The “first slap shot” to dedicate the rink was held on Saturday during the games.

Groundbreaking on renovations in Brentwood Park were underway in May 2013. The construction of a dek hockey rink was part of phase I of the initially planned $8 million overhaul of Brentwood Park, said Paula Simmons, Brentwood parks and recreation director.

The rink is open to Brentwood and non-borough residents, Simmons said.

A borough-run dek hockey league is planned for this summer, starting July 7, for youth and adults. Registration will begin on May 8, with a June 23 deadline for applicants.

Registration for dek hockey leagues is available on the borough's website,

Growing up in Brentwood, “hockey was enormous,” Harkins said. “You got home from school, you put your books down and you went out and you played hockey.”

Having the new surface to play on this year was nice for the “Drop the Puck on Cancer” event, which the 1613 Saloon team from Carrick won for the second time, he said.

“There were babies to 65 year olds playing hockey,” Harkins said.

But the most important part was that money was raised for the Duttine-Cavataio fund, Domenick Henry, Kathy Loffel, Jodi Detmer and Jana Faust.

“The families were so overwhelmed,” Harkins said.

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Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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