In memory of 'Big Mike': Superior YMCA, police host floor hockey game for kids
The Superior Douglas County Family YMCA and Superior Police Department are teaming up to host a floor hockey game in honor of "Big Mike" Almond.
SUPERIOR — Children can put their floor hockey skills to the test against members of the Superior Police Department during a free event from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Superior Douglas County Family YMCA.
In addition to getting some exercise, participants can enjoy Subway sandwiches and check out a police squad car. The friendly competition is being held in memory of “Big Mike” Almond, a local leader who died in May 2021.
“Mike was a really great human being. He was active in the community and supported the police,” said Assistant Police Chief John Kiel. “Mike used his status as a community leader to promote a good relationship with the police and people of color.”
Saturday’s event is a continuation of the work Almond started. The Superior man set up a basketball game, police versus children, at the YMCA to help bring the groups together. Not many participants turned out for basketball, but organizers didn’t give up.
“The following year, we decided a floor hockey game might be better,” Kiel said. “We had more officers and more children show up.”
The games became a popular annual event.
“We had officers showing up on their time off, as well as officers on duty. The number of children playing increased every year. The games were not competitive, just a lot of fun,” Kiel said.
The pandemic shuttered the event, but the police department and YMCA teamed up to bring it back.
“Big Mike had a strong connection with the Superior Police Department, and we wanted to keep our part in this event to continue on the memory of him,” said Hannah Bourgault, marketing and community outreach coordinator for the YMCA.
Both Kiel and Bourgault said they expect to expand the event in future years.
“This is the first year, I hope it continues and grows,” Kiel said. “I’m sure Mike would be humbled by this event in his memory.”