Hockey tournament raises money for family of firefighter

Holmesburg Boys Club hosted a foot hockey tournament Saturday as a fundraiser for the family of firefighter Dennis McDaniels, who died in June while competing in a triathlon.

Everybody wins: Eighty players and 16 teams participated Saturday in the Denny McDaniels Co-Ed Ironman Hockey Tournament at Holmesburg Boys Club. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Colleen McDonough grew up with the McDaniels brothers. They went to Father Judge, and she attended St. Hubert.

So, when both brothers passed within a two-month span earlier this year, McDonough wanted to do something, especially for Dennis “Denny” McDaniels, who left behind his wife, MaryEllen, and four children ages 10 and under.

McDaniels, 36, a Philadelphia firefighter from Upper Holmesburg, died from an apparent heart condition June 2 while competing in the Escape the Cape Triathlon in Cape May County. Jeffrey McDaniels passed away in April.

“It hits hard. They’re your friends growing up,” McDonough, of Holmesburg, said. “He was just such a nice guy. It didn’t matter who you were, he would do anything for you.”

On Saturday, 80 people participated in the Denny McDaniels Co-Ed Ironman Hockey Tournament at Holmesburg Boys Club. 

JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

McDonough, who plays in a women’s foot hockey league at HBC, organized the tournament, rounding up players from Holmesburg, Torresdale Boys Club, Northeast Racquet Club and Rizzo Rink in South Philly. 

“Ball hockey is a huge family, and it’s only growing,” said Shawn Simon, who also helped put the tournament together. 

Proceeds benefited MaryEllen and her children, and the event raised just over $2,600, according to McDonough.

A GoFundMe page set up for the family in the aftermath of McDaniels’ death raised more $220,000. 

McDaniels, a 12-year veteran of the Fire Department, most recently served at Ladder 15 in Frankford. Firefighters from Ladder 20, at Frankford and Hartel avenues, stopped by the tournament on Saturday. ••