STRATFORD, Conn. -- The day after Christmas 2016 is one that will stay in the mind of Stratford Firefighter Mike Apatow — as well as the rest of the department — forever.
That was the day that the Stratford Fire Department lost firefighter Jason "Carf" Carrafiello to complications of surgery. He was only 38.
"I really enjoyed going to work and seeing Carf around the kitchen table at the firehouse. He was always full of great stories and jokes that kept us all laughing endlessly," Apatow said.
"I only knew Carf for 11 short years and he is greatly missed. Carf was a great friend to everyone, and I always admired his love for the kids he coached at basketball," Apatow said.
In an effort to help Carrafiello's family get back on their feet after his unexpected death, the Stratford Fire Department is hosting a Memorial Hockey game at 1 p.m. April 1 at the Sports Center of Connecticut, 784 River Road, Shelton.
Stratford Fire will be playing Westport Fire. Doors open at noon, and the event starts 1 p.m. sharp.
"This is going to be an amazing event with opening ceremonies consisting of bagpipers with the honor guard, a ceremonial hockey puck drop for the family, singing of the National Anthem and a moment of silence with prayer from our department chaplain," Apatow said.
In addition, there will be custom hockey pucks sold in Carrafiello's honor, “Carf” stickers, T-shirts, and raffles. Food and drinks will be at Danny O’s after the game on River Road just up the street.
"Jason was an amazing person who deeply loved his family. He was a firefighter and a longtime basketball coach for St. James and St. Joe’s schools. As a lifetime resident of Stratford, he will be deeply missed by the community as a whole," Apatow said.
To help Carrafiello's family make ends meet, a webpage has been set up. To date, $880 has been raised out of a $25,000 goal.
To make a donation to the Carrafiello family, click here . Or to buy a hockey puck, call 203-521-8521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.