Salute To Heroes Hockey - Charlotte, NC

Benefiting Great Balls of Fire Charitable Foundation

Charlotte Hockey Hall of Fame - Presented by Extreme Ice Center


Keith Trietley

Keith is a former player in the Heroes Game and has been a member of CMPD since 2000. Keith was injured in the line of duty and retired from playing hockey. His passion to stay involved in the game has lead Keith to become an assistant coach with the CMPD/MCSO team and it allows him to continue to support his fellow colleagues.


Luther Fincher

Former Charlotte Fire Chief Fincher had a huge impact in getting the game resurrected from the days of Bojangles Coliseum. His support of the Charlotte Checkers and their staff helped to grow the event to one of the biggest charity programs in Charlotte, honoring those who serve in our community. Chief Fincher served the Charlotte community for 41 years and is still an active supporter of the Charlotte Checkers Heroes Hockey Game.


Kenny Inman

Kenny was the backbone and goalie for the CFD/MEDIC team for many years. Kenny has retired from playing in the game, but still actively participates in fundraising efforts for the event. Kenny was the inaugural Hawthorne's NY Pizza MVP recipient in 2007. He was also the winning goalie in three Heroes Games between the years of 2006 and 2011.


Peter & Angela Keretsis

Former owners of "The Pita Pit" located in Uptown Charlotte, the Keretsis were the first sponsor to sign on to help resurrect the Heroes Hockey Game. They have been instrumental in the growth of the game. For all their support, the winning team is presented with the "Pita Pit Heroes Cup".


Michael Smith

Captain Michael Smith has been involved with the Heroes Hockey Game as a coordinator for MCSO and is one of the driving forces in fundraising efforts for MCSO. Captain Smith is actively involved with the Hometown Heroes organization in Monroe and several other charitable programs. Over the years, Captain Smith and his team have helped to support many children in the community as well as team members from MCSO and their families. He is someone that just gets it done when he sees someone in need of help.


Richard Tonsberg

Rich is a former player in the Heroes Game and has been a member of CMPD since 1986. Rich joined the hockey team in 2000 and played with the team until 2009. Over the years, Rich was involved in coordinating many of the Heroes Games as well as getting the CMPD team involved in successful out-of-town hockey tournaments. Rich has been an active member in supporting his colleagues with the Heroes game each year since his retirement from the game.


David George

Former Harris Teeter Vice President of Asset Protection, David George and the Harris Teeter Corporation have been instrumental in the growth of the Heroes Hockey Game. All of their efforts in helping others are kept private between his team, Harris Teeter and the families they help each year. David is also involved in many other community programs, especially Union Academy Charter School in Monroe. David currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee and is the VP of Loss Prevention with Dollar General.


Robert Brisley

"Captain Rob" Brisley served the community as a member of the Charlotte Fire Department for 29 years. Captain Brisley was the department first Public Information Officer and a key liaison in coordinating the efforts to resurrect the Heroes Hockey Game in 2006, bringing all the public safety agencies together with the Charlotte Checkers. Captain Brisley played many years as defense-man for the CFD/MEDIC team before having to hang up the skates in 2012. Upon his retirement from CFD in 2014, Rob continues to remain an active supporter of the Heroes Hockey Game and all the public service agencies.


Mark Fulkenberry

Reitred CMPD Sergeant, Mark Fulkenberry was among the original organizers who started the Charlotte Public Safety Heroes Hockey Game at Cricket Arena in the late 1990's. Several charities benefitted from donations as a result of the game, including the Burnette-Nobles fund. Over the next couple of years under his leadership, the game grew and was renamed the "911 Cup". Sergeant Fulkenberry's hard work and efforts laid the groundwork for what is now the Charlotte Heroes Hockey Game.


Mark Balmas

Retired CMPD Detective, Mark Balams participated in many Heroes Games from the late 1990's until 2009. Mark was a solid defenseman and provided verteran leadership on the blue line. His hard work and dedication to the game was an inspiration to the younger officers coming up to get involved and participate to help their efforts in fundraising for charities and families in need from their organization. In his retirement, Mark has stayed involved and supports former teammates when needed.


Wendell Jolly

CFD Captain Wendell Jolly was one of the original organizers that started the Charlotte Public Safety Heroes Hockey Game at Cricket Arena in the late 1990's. Several charities benefitted from the donations as a result of the game, including CFD's Burned Children's Fund. Over the next couple of years under his leadership the game grew and was renamed the "911 Cup". Captain Jolly's hard work and efforts laid the groundwork for what is now the Charlotte Heroes Hockey Game.


Tripp Fincher

Captain “Tripp” Fincher who joined the Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) in 1990 is one of the core five that answered the alarm when CFD formed their ice hockey team in late 1998. Serving as Captain of the CFD hockey team for many years, Tripp played with a game similar to that of Claude Lemieux. “Tripp” Fincher, a dedicated player was the pesky one on the ice always giving 100%. Throughout his fire service career Capt. Fincher is the leader among public safety members raising needed funds for brothers or sisters in need. Captain Fincher retired from playing hockey following the Heroes game in 2014. “Tripp” was given the title of Captain Emeritus of the CFD Hockey team as he remains active and devoted each year in helping Salute to Heroes raise funds for those in need.


Tom Porcelli

To, has served the community as part of the Mecklenburg County EMS. Tom was also a linesman in the early days for the 911 Cup. Tom played in the Salute to Heroes Hockey Game for nearly 4 years before an injury forced him to stop in 2010. Tom has stayed active since then serving in many roles and helping to support the CFD/MEDIC hockey team and the Heroes game. He does all that he can to support his fellow brothers and sisters in need from all the public safety organizations.


Matt Hollarn

Originally from Pittsburgh, Matt grew up watching "Super Mario" in the "Igloo". Matt didn't start playing hockey until after the turn of the century. He realized how hard it is to skate the way Mario Lemieux did so he chose to don the tools of ignorance and play between the pipes. This was not unusual as matt was known to be unorthodox in his skill and had the temperment of an angry dog. Many says his game is a lot like Curtis "Cujo" Joseph. His stellar play in goal helped the CMPD/MCSO team to earn many wins during his 6 year tenure in the Heroes game. Matt was never named MVP in any game but had a goals against average of 1.69 and a save percentage of .948, which are some of the best stats for a goalie in Charlotte Heroes Hockey history.


Jeff LeClair

Jeff was part of the core 5 in the late 1990's that played on the CFD hockey team. He was a player/coach in the early years. Most people would say that he had a game and demeanor similar to that of "The Rat Ken Linesman". Jeff served the citizens of Charlotte for 30 years (retireing in July 2017) as an engineer. He last played in the Heroes game in 2014 retiring with his good friend and fellow line mate, Captain Tripp Fincher. Jeff is still involved in the game to help support his fellow brothers and sisters in public service.


Erik Hagesether

Erik was one of the key members to resurrect the Heroes Hockey Game. He has been very active in community youth sponsored programs for MCSO, the Hometown Heroes, and the Safe Kids Correlation. Erik is a national board member for the National Citizens Police Academy Association. He helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to help children from the community and families in need from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.


Tommy Timmins

Tommy first came to Charlotte in 1994 from Breezy Point - Queens, New York to attend Belmong Abbey College. His father Geore, who had retired from the NYPD after 27 years, opened a bar in his hometown called "The Sugar Bowl". Tommy grew up in the bar business alongside his brother John, a current FDNY firefighter in Brooklyn. Tom opened his first bar in Charlotte -Tyber Creek Pub - in 1999 after graduating from Belmont Abbey College. He and his partner, Kevin opened Connolly's Irish Pub 2 years later and they currently have 6 establishments in the city. Tommy, having grown up with family in public service understands the sacrifices men and women make in serving our community. He is an original supporter of the Heroes Hockey Game when it was revived in the early 2000's.


Michael & John Adams

Michael and Jon are original supporters of the Heroes Hockey Game since the early 2000's to honor their brother, Air Force Captain, Christopher Adams, who flew a c-130 aircraft in defense of our freedoms of the United States until his untimely death from a terrorist attack in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in 1996. The Adams family continues to support all first responders and military families as a means to carry on their family members' memory and legacy. Hawthorne's Pizza supports our local fire, police and medic departments throughout the year through various charity events. Hawthorne's Pizza, in addition, funds a scholarship in Mecklenburg County for a rising senior going to college every year and the training of a service dog for a veteran recovering from an injury of war.