The Massachusetts State Police Boxing Team scored a knockout outside the ring with its fight night on Friday, October 6 at the Cape Cod Irish Village in Hyannis. The competition featured amateur boxers with the Massachusetts State Police squaring off against police officers from Ireland on the Garda Boxing Club. It raised a total of $20,000 which was split evenly between Heroes In Transition (HIT) and Tommy’s Place.
The donations were delivered on October 26 by Massachusetts State Police Lt. Charlie Murray who was accompanied by several colleagues, including officers who fought in the friendly tournament.
“We want to be community based and locally based,” said Murray, a former fighter on the team who has served as its president since 1993. “We have a corner on the boxing market. Everybody enjoys what we do, and we have our own following. We have guys who will jump in and who love to fight to support local charities.”
“As an organization that supports individuals who put themselves in harm’s way in service to our country, we have a deep appreciation for first responders who willingly do the same as part of their work. We are humbled and honored that the State Police used this event to give back to Heroes In Transition,” said HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “These funds will strengthen our programs which assist veterans, active service members, and military families in our community.”
Spencer was joined by HIT Board Vice President Michael Procek of Mashpee, and HIT supporter Timothy Whelan, a retired State Police Sergeant and former State Representative for the 1st Barnstable District, in accepting the check which was delivered on the anniversary of Marine Captain Eric A. Jones’s death.
A helicopter pilot, Jones was killed while flying a combat mission in Afghanistan in 2009. His parents, Cyndy and the late Kenneth Jones, formed HIT to honor their only son’s life, service, and sacrifice. Based in Mashpee, the organization does this through 14 unique programs which are geared towards building community, strengthening relationships, empowering individuals, and providing those they serve with a pathway to healing.
“To receive something like this is really important to our ongoing operations. We are open 52 weeks a year, so this makes a huge difference to us,” said Tim O’Connell, founder of Tommy’s Place. “I was completely blown away the Massachusetts State Police chose us. The fact they wanted to help support charities like ours on the Cape was so wonderful.”
Tommy’s Place has one location in Falmouth, which opened in July 2021, and a second in Centerville which opened this past July. The two redesigned homes offer children from throughout New England who are battling cancer and their families a much-needed weeklong getaway to the Cape.
It’s what O’Connell called a dream vacation “for these kids and families who are so deserving of having a break from their daily life. Many of our families who have gone to Disney World have said that Tommy’s Place is better than Disney. It’s pretty special to hear things like that.”
His mother, Carole O’Connell, was on hand to receive last week’s donation which is critical for the maintenance of both homes which welcome new families each week of the year.
Dubbed the Battle Across the Pond, the match at the beginning of this month was the 167th for the Massachusetts State Police Boxing Team since its inception in 1976. Fans were treated to six individual fights. In the end, the winner was the entire Cape Cod community thanks to the Boxing Team’s donations to Tommy’s Place and HIT.