NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The 19th North Haven Spring Brawl was held at the town’s high school on Friday night. It’s an intra-squad hame that raises money for someone special in the community.
This year’s “Spring Brawl” recipient was the family of fallen Bristol Police Lt. Dustin Demonte.
Lt. Demonte and his family lived in North Haven and his wife Laura had previously attended school in town. Lt. Demonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy were killed in an ambush last October. The magnitude of the night wasn’t lost on the players.
“That just makes it even more worthwhile. The fact that you get to stay all together, fight for a cause together. I think that brings everyone closer together,” said Brendan Ryan, an offensive lineman for the North Haven High School football team. “It was a horrible tragedy. We’re just trying to do all that we can to help them out , so, just try and get as many people as we can down to the game and have a good time.”
“This year is big, as you know for Laura and her family. This is a chance for them to use their status as football players and use their popularity right now and do something good. It’s really not about football, it’s about the community and the family,” said Tony Sagnella, the North Haven High School Football Team.
Before the start of things, there was a ceremony for Lt. Demonte’s family, including his wife Laura and their children.
“I’ve been coming [for] 15 years, and I believe this is the 19th one. And, the community comes out. It’s always a cause that the kids actually choose. And I think this year it was a really, really good choice,” said Vincent Campagnullo of North Haven.
The North Haven Nighthawks won their first-ever state championship in football last December.