WESTFIELD, NJ — Tamaques Elementary School fifth grader Benjamin Handwerker is using his favorite sport to give back to Westfield police. The goalie for Cranford Hockey Club's Squirt A team, Benjamin will dedicate the games he plays Feb.13 and 14 to police officers and raise funds for the Westfield PBA Local 90 during “Ben’s Stops for Cops.”
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“I thought it was a good thing to do for the police officers to support them, and dedicate it to the two officers who were killed in New York,” the 11-year-old said.
Benjamin’s father, Gavin Handwerker, is the town of Westfield’s public defender.
“His teammates are all on board and they are helping with the endeavor,” Gavin Handwerker said.
“The way this all began was Benjamin has a good relationship with a lot of the Westfield officers because of my work as public defender,” Gavin Handwerker explained. “He loves visiting the station and enjoys doing things like bringing the officers food during the holidays because he knows they work very hard and sometimes cannot be with their families. After some of the police officer killings in New York City he was very concerned about the officers here and he started asking about doing something else for them.”
Benjamin’s goal is to raise at least $2,500. As of Tuesday, he had more than $1,650. No donation is too small, he said.
“I think people should donate whatever they want,” Benjamin added. “Whatever goes to help, that would be fine.”