This photo is taken from a high point of view, looking down onto an ice rink. The two hockey teams are lined up and facing each other.

First Responders Foundation Gets an Assist From WoodmenLife

Apr 24, 20244/24/2024


WoodmenLife was at center ice before the annual Guns & Hoses hockey game in Omaha, NE, this spring. We sponsored the event, a fundraiser for the First Responders Foundation, because it shows our direct support for the men and women who help keep our communities safe.

To get things started, WoodmenLife Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Wilbur Jenkins dropped the ceremonial first puck.

“An event like this aligns well with our shared commitment of helping families and strengthening our communities,” said Jenkins, who became a hockey fan while living in Canada. “WoodmenLife is committed to giving back to our communities to help them grow and be successful.

“First Responders and their families are an important part of our communities, and we deeply appreciate and respect their work.”

Tyler Lawrence, WoodmenLife Pacific/Midwest Regional Director, attended the game. He sees WoodmenLife’s participation as a successful slapshot.

“First Responders are the backbone of our communities,” he said. “Being a First Responder, especially volunteer First Responder, is crucial because they play a vital role in keeping our communities safe and protected. We are reminded daily of the sacrifices they make for us, putting themselves in harm’s way and courageously stepping up to de-escalate difficult situations.

“By the nature of what they do, they are already living out the WoodmenLife mission of supporting family, community and country.”

Photo shows a total of 10 men posing for a photo at an ice rink. Eight of the men are in hockey uniforms; four of them are wearing blue and yellow jerseys representing the police and four are wearing red, white and yellow jerseys representing the firefighters. At the center of the group, two men in plain clothes hold an oversized check showing WoodmenLife's $10,000 donation to the First Responders Foundation.

WoodmenLife Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Wilbur Jenkins presented a $10,000 donation to the First Responders Foundation.

First Responders Foundation Power Play

WoodmenLife has been a part of Guns & Hoses since 2019. The fundraising event helps bolster the First Responders Foundation and its mission to support First Responders with programs like behavioral health services, physical fitness programs and medication management.

Before Jenkins dropped the puck, Lawrence and other volunteers handed out 2,000 handheld American flags to arriving fans. The volunteers also staffed a table and shared information about WoodmenLife.

“What could be better than having an audience made up of mostly family and friends of the firemen and police officers who were playing, along with family and friends of other First Responders?” Lawrence asked. “My hope is that as we continue to support these events, our First Responders and their friends and families will understand what WoodmenLife is all about. We want them to feel that we truly believe in them and are thankful for what they do.”

The need to be there for First Responders came through as loudly as the players crashing into the boards during the game.

When the game clock hit zero, it was the law enforcement officers who came out victorious. But all First Responders won from the support and awareness of the event.

“In their work to help others in crisis,” Jenkins said, “they often encounter demanding, stressful and dangerous situations. They need support to maintain their physical and overall well-being so that they can continue serving their communities effectively.”

Visit for more information about our organization and see for more about our support for these true heroes.


Read More

Iowa Chapter Brings Community Together for First Responders

North Carolina First Responder Dedicated His Life to Public Service



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