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Article updated: 12/12/2012 5:37 PM

Hockey for Heroes tournament to benefit local soldier

By Melissa Silverberg

Local military members will join suburban firefighters and police officers in a floor hockey tournament on Friday night to support an injured Arlington Heights soldier.

Salute, Inc., a Palatine-based nonprofit organization has planned the fundraiser with area first responders to help raise money for Sgt. Daniel Tsutsumi, who survived two tours in Iraq but was left paralyzed after a swimming accident over the summer.

The Hockey for Heroes event will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at the Mount Prospect Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central Road.

There is no admission charge, but all donated funds will help Tsutsumi's family renovate their house to be more accommodating as he recovers.

Doctors gave Daniel, 27, a fifty-fifty chance he will walk again, but his family is staying positive and thankful throughout the ordeal.

"I heard about him and just wanted to help," said Tom Hoskinson, a Mount Prospect police officer and 26-year Army veteran who helped organize the tournament with Salute.

It started out as just a game between Mount Prospect firefighters and Mount Prospect police, other groups got interested. The Arlington Heights Fire Department, Northwest Central Dispatch and the Marine Corps will also have teams playing Friday, he said.

More than 500 people attended a fundraiser last month for Tsutsumi in Palatine, which his mother Barbara said was another huge reason the family has to be thankful in spite of Daniel's injury.

"Being the one giving is a much more comfortable position to be in," she said. "We've learned that sometimes you are in a position where you just give thanks that so many people reach out to help you."

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